Dementia care plan needed but the Government stalls - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Tom McCulloch, Pontefract.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, and one of the greatest health challenges facing society. Earlier this year the UK Government announced a ‘visionary’ 10-year Plan for Dementia, aiming to increase diagnosis and support people with their health and care needs. This announcement provided hope for the 900,000 living with dementia in the UK. The Government promised to publish the plan by the end of 2022 – but we are still waiting, and my patience is wearing thin.

With a change in Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, not once, not twice, but three times since July, progress on the 10-Year Plan for Dementia has stalled. And now, the Government have responded to questioning, stating “further information will be available in due course”.

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While I am thrilled by the recent positive drug trial results, they give hope for the future, but for those living in the now, this lack of clear direction from the Government is costing them time and hope.

Dementia has been described as one of the UK's biggest killers.Dementia has been described as one of the UK's biggest killers.
Dementia has been described as one of the UK's biggest killers.

Dementia is long overdue a plan, and people affected by dementia are long overdue the respect and consideration they deserve. But without delivering on their commitments, the Government are making a clear statement; dementia is not their priority.

Publishing a plan to improve the lives of people affected by dementia is so important to me because my wife is an Alzheimer’s sufferer .

The Government must publish the 10-year Plan for Dementia now and help people in this area affected by dementia live more fulfilled and less fearful lives.

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Dementia doesn’t wait for due course – we need a #PlanD now.

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

With news of vacancies in the NHS at record levels no wonder nursing and ambulance staff have voted for strike action, something almost unprecedented. Quite apart from the massive cut in real incomes from inadequate pay offers, demoralisation among health workers has built up over a long period.

Causes? Many. There were flawed reorganisations carried through by Andrew (now Lord) Lansley. Jeremy Hunt as Health Minister removed the limited slack the NHS carried precisely to cope with health emergencies like the Covid pandemic. Then George Osborne stopped paying trainee nurses forcing them to take out student loans. This despite the fact that nurses in training actually do a lot of ward work. Acting as free labour instead did nothing for nurse recruitment or morale.

Even more disastrous is the failure to get to grip with the social care crisis. Your correspondent Mike Padgham has warned of this for years, yet no significant action has been taken. So hospital beds are blocked by patients who cannot be discharged safely while ambulances queue with cases that cannot be admitted. It is a dismal picture that owes much to Government failures.

Will they ever get a grip? Not on past performance they won't. Just don't risk falling ill or having an accident.