The co-author of the government’s national dementia strategy called on social workers to push for funding in their local areas to help the five-year plan succeed, at Community Care LIVE yesterday.
Sube Banerjee said the strategy’s objectives of establishing early diagnosis memory clinics, better care home provision and enhanced training would only be achieved by strong local implementation, rather than a “central diktat”.
Banerjee, professor of mental health and ageing at King’s College, London, and a Department of Health adviser, urged delegates to be “passionate” when applying for funding, adding: “You have to make the case to commissioners at a local level.”
The DH is backing its strategy with £150m from 2009-11 for primary care trusts.
Banerjee said additional funding was available for local authorities, and added that without a shared local vision the money would not reach dementia services.
The dementia expert, who co-authored the strategy with Jenny Owen, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said personalisation in dementia care would only be possible with earlier diagnosis.
“People should be involved in discussions about their care package if they’re diagnosed early enough.”
Only a third of people with dementia receive a formal diagnosis, the strategy showed.