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June 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Local MP and vice chair of the All Party Group on Dementia, Tim Farron, has today launched a report alongside the rest of the group which calls for an ambitious shake up in care for people with dementia.

Prepared to Care, a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia found large variation in the dementia skills of the social care workforce. Barriers to delivering good care included low levels of training, ineffective regulation, lack of accreditation for trainers and a limited understanding of dementia by commissioners.

Mr Farron was a member of the panel which undertook the inquiry, and he heard from many families how a lack of skills led to poor care for loved ones. Experts reported less than half of staff providing home care had any dementia training and many were given just 15 minutes to deliver good care. In other evidence, high quality care reinforced that the right skills make a huge difference to people's lives. The report recommends that workforce development plans outlined in the National Dementia Strategy for England be quickly implemented.

Speaking this morning, Mr Farron said: "It is extremely distressing that the UK is not providing high quality dementia care. One in three people over 65 die with dementia. This report identifies significant barriers to good care but it also presents unique opportunities to put things right. Organisations who deliver good care show us that ongoing training, support and the opportunity to practice person-centred care transform people's lives. We must improve training and support across the UK and give staff recognition for the difficult and important role they undertake."

Neil Hunt, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, said: "As the number of people with dementia reaches more than a million in less than 20 years, the entire social care workforce must be geared up to deliver good dementia care. Dementia care is a highly skilled profession. Social care staff must given the right support and training and the Department of Health must show leadership to deliver workforce development commitments in the National Dementia Strategy. Since the 1950's improvements in cancer care have given millions of people a better quality of life. The same must now be done for people with dementia."

Elsewhere the report recommends that the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) could be used to develop career pathways for dementia care that could attract new staff and government funding for training. MPs also advocate that the Short Observational Framework tool (SOFI) could be used to inspect services for people with dementia and that an accreditation programme for trainers must be developed.