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Tim Farron

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Dementia strategy offers roadmap to care - MP

June 20, 2014 11:10 AM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on dementia, of which he is vice chair, as a 'road map' to tackling this awful disease.

The 2014 report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia is called Building on the National Dementia Strategy: Change, progress and priorities. It looks back at a previous inquiry from 2010 and examines progress made and opportunities for the future. To do this the APPG gathered experts from across the dementia community, including people with dementia and their carers.

The APPG recommends a new, long-term dementia strategy, which incorporates their recommendations set out in this report, and involves people with dementia. This will be fundamental to the future of dementia care. Tim also picked out the recommendation that dementia coordinators are something that the Department of Health should look to roll out. The report said: "We see an important role for Dementia Advisers - or care coordinators - to guide people with dementia through the complex health and care services they may use." Other key findings were:

Strong leadership

Dementia needs strong leadership from government, from local authorities and CCGs, and from service providers, to ensure it is a priority in every service.

Integrated health and social care services

People with dementia have the most to gain from integrated services and now is the best time to start putting this into action. We want to see all commissioners using the opportunity that the Better Care Fund offers to promote more integration across health and social care, which needs to be extended beyond the current financial limitations of the fund.

Engaging and involving people with dementia

People with dementia and their carers should have a say on any decisions that could affect them. Wherever possible, people with dementia should play an integral part in commissioning, training and providing support to other people with dementia. Finally, we recognise that there are many other issues that require attention, which will significantly improve the lives of people with dementia and their families, but which we haven't covered in this report. These include investment in research as well as making progress towards the creation of communities that are more dementia-friendly. Our primary aim for this report is to identify some priority areas for government and to urge it to commit to a long-term successor to the NDSE and Prime Minister's challenge.

Tim said: "This report is incredibly welcome. It contains a series of recommendations that will make a real difference to tackling dementia. I will be pressing ministers to implement this report and do all we can to tackle this awful disease. The recommendation I welcome the most, is one that I have lobbied on for years, which is the idea of a dementia friend. This person is to guide people with dementia through the complex health and care services they may use - it will make a massive, positive difference to residents in the South Lakes.

"I am also really grateful to South Lakeland Alzheimers Society and South Lakelend Age Concern who have been extremely helpful in keeping me properly informed on dementia-related issues."