The Conservatives have promised more funding for dementia research and expanded access to drug treatments for Alzheimer’s patients should they take power following May’s general election.
The promises represent a boost to Community Care’s Dementia Declaration campaign which has called for an open debate on dementia from all parties and for dementia funding to be prioritised.
The Tories said funding for dementia research had halved in the last five years under Labour. In a pledge that matches one already given by the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives promised to give dementia research greater priority within NHS and Medical Research Council funding.
The Tory plans come as part of itsolder people’s manifesto.
The pledge to expand access to Alzheimer’s drugs responds to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s controversial decision to limit NHS access to drugs for people in the early stages of the disease in 2006.
Launching the older people’s manifesto, Tory leader David Cameron said: “We need a revolution in the way we treat older people. That means giving them a pension that gives them security, health and social care that gives them dignity.”
The document also restated a number of pledges in the party’s main manifesto, including plans to allow people to insure themselves against the costs of residential care through a one-off £8,000 payment on retirement.