Social workers in Wales will get more training in organising care and assessing risk for dementia patients as part of the country’s long-awaited plan to improve dementia care.
In four action plans, published yesterday, the Welsh government unveiled proposals to improve links between health and social care, training for those delivering care, information for dementia patients and their families, and early diagnosis.
The training plan said dementia would also be mainstreamed into social work qualification courses.
The plan on joining up health and social care called on university health boards and councils to set up fully integrated community mental health teams for older people by 2014-15. The teams would carry out diagnosis and assessments and provide therapies to people with dementia and their carers.
It also included proposals to improve dementia care in hospitals and care homes and enhance out-of-hours support and provision for people with younger onset dementia.
The plans were drawn up by a panel of industry leaders, academics and other stakeholders.
Edwina Hart, minister for health and social services, said: “The action plans must now be turned into delivery. They show clearly how services must work together to improve services to meet the anticipated increase in demand over the coming years.”
A government spokesperson confirmed that local bodies would carry the responsibility for the plans’ implementation.
The plans have received a lukewarm reaction from the Welsh Conservatives as many of their actions are not due for competition until 2012 or later.
Andrew RT Davies, Conservative shadow minister for health, said: “While I welcome the fact that the minister has committed to several priorities areas of further development, I have concerns about how speedily the work will be carried out.”
He added: “The assembly government has shown a lamentable lack of ambition in tackling the issues facing dementia care.”
An action plan has been expected since the Welsh Assembly voted to introduce one in July 2008. Consultation on a draft plan closed in September last year.
Davis previously attacked the delay in publishing the plan in March.