Intended for healthcare professionals


UK dementia care “lottery” is unsustainable, conference hears

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 20 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i370
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The United Kingdom cannot keep relying on unpaid carers to support people with dementia because the burden and the care “lottery” will prove unsustainable, a conference has heard.

Adelina Comas-Herrera, assistant professorial research fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said that the estimated cost of dementia was some £26.2bn (€34bn; $37.1bn) in the UK in 2014. This included £4.3bn in NHS costs and £4.5bn in local authority funded social care; the rest came from social care funded by patients and families themselves (£5.8bn) and the costs of unpaid carers (£11.6bn).

“Individuals with dementia and their families are currently funding two thirds of the resources used in dementia care,” Comas-Herrera said. …

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