Community Care’s Dementia Declaration has won the support of all three major parties, after the Tories gave the campaign their endorsement this week.
Shadow health minister Stephen O’Brien added his support to our call for a full debate on dementia during the election campaign and for the next government to make improved care for those with the condition a financial priority.
He said: “I hope that those who, like me, want to see a much bigger recognition of the growing proportion of people suffering from dementia, sign up.”
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have already offered their backing, as have the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and the Greens.
O’Brien, who has been shadow health minister since December 2005, added: “It’s something I have been pushing the Labour government on for many years and I’m delighted to see your campaign is adding to that push.”
The latter pledge responds to a controversial 2006 decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice)to limit NHS access to drug treatments for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease on value-for-money grounds.
The Tory plan would involve giving Nice the ability to consider wider issues when approving drugs – including the impact on the care system as a whole and on informal carers. O’Brien said this was particularly relevant to dementia drugs, which can slow the progress of the disease and hence the need for expensive residential care.