Bupa Care Services welcomes dementia strategy

Bupa has welcomed the government's first national dementia strategy, which was launched earlier this week by health secretary Alan Johnson.

The government has pledged to improve early diagnosis, as well as bolstering support for carers and training for GPs so that they are able to spot the early signs of dementia.

However, Bupa is concerned that extra resources, along with a set timescale and targets will be needed if the strategy is to deliver.

Dr Graham Stokes, head of mental health for Bupa Care Services, commented: "I welcome the principle of the national dementia strategy but the government is still in danger of failing people with dementia and their families.

"The danger is that without a coherent, fully-funded strategy the government risks devaluing and failing to respect people with dementia."

Dr Stokes, who was a member of the expert advisory group for the strategy, noted that Bupa has witnessed a 75 per cent increase over the last five years in the number of people with dementia for whom the company cares.

He added that more specialist care homes are needed and that these should be "part of the whole system of care, not simply seen as a final resort".

Figures show that 36.5 per cent of people with late onset dementia live in care homes.

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