Every town and city in England to have a memory clinic, says health secretary

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 04 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b464
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. 1London

    The Department of Health has finally announced its long awaited plan for tackling dementia. Its five year strategy, which will cost £150m (€170m; $210m) in its first two years, envisages a memory clinic in every town and city in England.

    Announcing the plan, the health secretary, Alan Johnson, said that it was a landmark document. “It will transform the quality of dementia care,” he said.

    Among its recommendations, the strategy calls for better training of all GPs, those in practice and in training, to recognise the early symptoms of dementia and to be able to refer patients to an appropriate clinical specialist, who will be based in a memory clinic.

    Primary care trusts will be allocated £60m to commission appropriate services in 2009-10 and a further £90m in 2010-11, Mr Johnson said. The developments would be monitored and “decisions about the future funding will be made on the outcome of that work,” he added.

    “The first area that is very …

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