Intended for healthcare professionals


Alistair Burns: Slippery when wet

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 15 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3202

In the latest in its series asking the movers and shakers of the medical world about work, life, and less serious matters, The BMJ spoke to the psychiatry professor and supporter of dementia care


Alistair Burns, 55, is professor of old age psychiatry at the University of Manchester and national clinical director for dementia at NHS England. The profile of dementia is such that he has to navigate the interests of the prime minister, the health secretary, professional colleagues, and the many health and care organisations involved with dementia. He balances issues such as the prescription of antipsychotics, improving general hospital care, the need for timely diagnosis, and the question of screening or case finding. He must have scored some success, as nobody doubts his genuine commitment to better dementia …

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