Over 800,000 people in the UK have dementia. The estimated cost to the NHS, local authorities and families is £23bn per year - higher than the costs of cancer, heart disease or stroke. Among the over-55s, dementia is feared more than any other illness.
People with dementia, their families and carers have told us that they want to receive an early diagnosis and timely, good-quality information that will help them to make informed choices about their care. They want the treatment and support they receive to be the best for their dementia and for their life, regardless of whether they are cared for at home, in hospital or in a care home.
Living well with dementia: A National Dementia Strategy was published in 2009 and set the standard for improving the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers through raising awareness, encouraging early diagnosis and providing high-quality treatment and care. The Strategy can be downloaded here. The Government's outcomes-focused implementation plan for the Strategy, published in September 2010, is also available here.
The Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia, available by following this link, was launched on 26 March 2012 and is an ambitious programme of work designed to make a real difference to the lives of people with dementia. By building on the achievements of the National Dementia Strategy, the ambition is to secure greater improvements in dementia care and research so that people with dementia, their carers and families get the services and support they need. The Challenge is a challenge to the whole of society, as well as to government, the NHS and social care. It focuses on three key areas:
Progress reports to the Prime Minister on the implementation of his Challenge were published in November 2012 and May 2013 and are available here.
The Dementia e-learning sessions support the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy and the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia. Three introductory e-learning sessions cover the following topics :
The information in these introductory sessions will support those who come across difficult questions such as 'I am worried about Dad', that could be asked of anyone in contact with patients and families on a day-to-day basis. It also acknowledges the importance of public health messages and addressing social stigma as essential to making a difference in dementia.
The later sessions cover a range of topics, including:
Supporting Families of People with Dementia
Multi-professional and Collaborative Working to Support People Affected by Dementia
End of Life Care for People with Dementia
Diversity and Dementia