Welsh Tories slam failure to publish dementia plan

The Welsh Conservatives have slammed the country’s government for failing to publish its dementia plan, nearly two years after it was promised.

Before the Welsh Assembly debate today on the future of dementia care, shadow minister for health and social services Andrew RT Davies said it was “unacceptable” that the plan had yet to be published.

“Local health boards cannot adequately plan to finance the recommendations of the plan until it is published,” Davies said. “Until that happens it is inevitable that service provision will be negatively affected.”

The Welsh government announced its intention to publish a dementia plan in July 2008 and consulted on a draft version last summer.

Davies said there were fewer dedicated dementia care home beds in Wales, relative to the proportion of over-75s, than in north east England, a region he described as having a similar socio-economic make-up.

He also called for gaps in training for care home staff to be addressed.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “Work is under way to improve dementia services in Wales, including targets being set for the NHS for this year to reduce the time between the onset of dementia symptoms and diagnosis and treatment.

“It is because we recognise the potential future demand that dementia will place on health and social services that we take time to ensure we have a plan that delivers improved services and better care and support for individuals and families.”

Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for social services, is expected to respond to the criticisms in the assembly today.

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