Labour has pledged to ensure that dementia patients in every area have access to psychological therapy, counselling and memory clinics if it wins the election, in its manifesto, published today.
The promise on memory clinics takes forward plans in last year’s national dementia strategy, which called for early diagnosis and intervention services to be set up in every area by 2014.
However, the pledges on psychological therapies and counselling appear to be new and respond to widespread concerns that people with dementia lack access to these services because of age discrimination.
Labour “promised end to the age discrimination that has too often seen older people disadvantaged in the provision of health services”.
The promises come with Community Care calling for a full debate on dementia during the election and for the next government to commit to prioritising the care of those with the condition, through our Dementia Declaration campaign.
As expected, the manifesto also included plans in last month’s care White Paper to set up a national care service – with services free at the point of need but paid for by individual contributions – in three stages, though with full implementation delayed until after 2016.