Norman Lamb wants to make Dementia a Top Priority – Great news, it’s so much needed
Dr Ros Altmann, Director General of Saga welcomes the commitment from new Care Minister, Norman Lamb, during his second speech as Health Secretary that he intends to make improvements to the care for dementia patients one of his top priorities.
“In April, the Prime Minister committed to improving the lives of those suffering with dementia and their carers in his Dementia Challenge. Norman Lamb’s comments are welcome news for organisations including Saga who have been working with the Department of Health’s Dementia Challenge Group – with the aim of improving the lives of all of those that are affected by Dementia.
“As the largest provider of home care in the UK, Saga has seen first hand that by ensuring all 16,000 care staff receive specific dementia awareness training and making sure that, where possible, there is continuity of care, the lives of those living with the condition can be significantly improved.
“However it is becoming increasingly clear that a new approach is required. Whilst many things can be done to increase awareness of the condition, we need to reform funding so that families can prepare for care. We must focus on outcomes and improving people’s wellbeing, rather than box-ticking tasks. Care cannot continue to be commissioned in short slots of time by cash strapped local authorities. Whilst this is wrong for anybody requiring care it’s even more important for those suffering with Dementia, where Carers need time with the individuals to help them feel safe and secure. Clarifying the role of the state and the role of the family must be an integral part of care funding reforms. The Government must act now.
“Promises, commitments and ‘making Dementia Care’ a priority all sound good in principle, what we need to see now is action. The 5 million carers in the UK and their loved ones simply don’t have time on their side”.