Appoint tsar to improve dementia services, says watchdog

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 24 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:175
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Services for people with dementia should be accorded the same priority as services for cancer and coronary heart disease, with a national director, or tsar, to champion and deliver improvements in care for patients and better support for carers, the public health spending watchdog for England has said.

    Edward Leigh, chairman of the committee of public accounts, which published its report into services for people with dementia this week, painted a bleak picture of the care currently offered to the 560 000 people with dementia in England, describing the condition as “one of the last great taboo subjects.”

    Dementia is never formally diagnosed in as many as two thirds of cases, and carers, who save the tax payer an estimated £5bn (€7bn; $10bn) a year, struggle to cope with little support, the report states.

    “We neglect dementia at …

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