Care for those living with Dementia, Labour MP to Hussein Al-alak

Dear Hussein, 

Thank you for contacting me recently about dementia care. 

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that 850,000 people in the UK are already living with dementia and that the number is set to rise to over a million by 2025. 

The previous Labour Government launched the first ever national dementia strategy, appointed the first national clinical director for dementia, and commissioned the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to develop the quality standard for dementia. 

Together, those began the process of establishing memory clinics, providing better training for GPs and improving the quality of dementia care for people in hospital. It is welcome that the current Government is carrying on that work through its Dementia 2020 strategy. However, there is clearly still a long way to go. 

More needs to be done to improve hospital care for dementia patients. I also appreciate that there are real concerns about the state of social care. For example, Labour are concerned about the impact that the Government’s cuts to social care will have on the quality of care and support for people with dementia. 

Indeed, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has reported that £4.6 billion has been cut from adult social care budgets and that 300,000 fewer people are receiving publicly-funded services than in 2009-10. As a consequence, more and more people with dementia are spending time in hospital and, once admitted, are finding that the support is simply not in place in the community for them to return home. 

As we work to find a cure for dementia I believe we should place emphasis both on the care provided to people living with the disease and the support provided to their families and carers. Improving the quality of social care is a vital part of providing dignity in older age and independence and support for people living with a long-term condition. 

Along with my office staff, I have taken the “Dementia Friends” training to improve our understanding of this condition. I am happy to support Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to Fix Dementia Care and to help with publicity on social media. 

Thank you once again for contacting me, and I can assure you that Labour will continue to press the Government to do more to support people living with dementia. 

Yours sincerely, 

Jeff Smith MP 

Jeff Smith is the UK Member of Parliament for Withington in Manchester. Hussein Al-alak is the editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra).



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