Call for UK to adopt dementia strategy

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MPs have called on the Government to set out a long-term strategy for tackling dementia, before its presidency of the G8 summit in December.

It would be “embarrassing” for the UK to lead the summit, which it has chosen to focus on dementia, without having its own long-term commitment set out, they said.

Conservative MP Tracey Crouch said: “It is fantastic that the UK Government, under the Prime Minister’s personal commitment, is using the G8 summit to champion the need for a more collaborative approach to preventing, treating and curing dementia.

“The UK needs a new long-term strategy for dementia, as the current dementia strategy is due to expire in 2014.”

Turning to Health Minister Norman Lamb, she said: “I’d be grateful if – not today, soon – the minister could outline what plans there are to evaluate the national dementia strategy for England.”

Ms Crouch said: “It is worth noting that the US has a dementia strategy in place until 2025. So we could be left in an embarrassing situation that the UK Government is leading the G8 discussion on dementia but does not have its own national, long-term commitment comparable to that of its international partners.

Former Care Minister Paul Burstow said: “At the heart of this, fundamentally, is the issue of how we ensure people have a good life, how we ensure people maintain good relationships.

“Dementia can be something which can rob people of good relationships and at the heart of this for me is how, whether you are professional, whether you are a carer, or someone working in another part of the public or private services you understand and are aware of the issues around dementia and how we make a community that is more friendly towards those that suffer from dementia.”