Care for people with dementia 50 years out of date, report says

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 05 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:15
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    Services for people with dementia in England lag 50 years behind other specialties, such as cancer and stroke services, with early diagnoses and interventions too scarce, says a report from the NHS spending watchdog.

    The report, from the National Audit Office, calls for a strong and transparent leadership from the Department of Health to champion and coordinate improvements in dementia services, in the same way that national targets and national services frameworks have helped to modernise services for people with cancer and heart disease.

    The report says that dementia care in England is similar to cancer care in the 1950s, when there were few effective treatments, and the diagnosis was withheld from patients to avoid distress.

    “Services for dementia are not very adequate and have been given too low a priority within the department of health,” said Karen Taylor, director of health …

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