Seven days in medicine: 14-20 September 2016BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5096 (Published 22 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5096
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The revelation that The National Dementia Strategy (2009) has failed to reduce antipsychotic prescribing in dementia amongst patients living in residential care homes is no surprise with almost 1 in 10 practices failing to review patients for Dementia annually (BMJ Open, 20 September) (HSCIC QOF register 2014-2015). Oversubscribed memory services may account for some of the blame with delays to early intervention failing to reduce cognitive decline and the appearance of emotional and behavioural changes. With heavy time limitations and growing workloads, incurable illnesses cannot always attract their fair share of practice resources and time but GPs must take the time to challenge their own cognitions about dementia.
Dementia is a pathological process and not just a normal part of aging (WHO 2012). With 1 in 14 people aged over 65 in the UK suffering from dementia and rising, GPs must utilise available tools to delay the descent into cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014). Accessing supplementary dementia training may boost familiarity with current guidelines and also enable practices to identify practice-dependent factors which can be modified to minimise the high emotional and financial toll that dementia carries.
Competing interests: No competing interests