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Dementia support 'inadequate', says report

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A leading bioethics think tank has criticised the NHS for failing to provide adequate support to people newly diagnosed with dementia.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said access to information, emotional support and practical help was “essential for people to live well with dementia”, but added that there was “ample evidence” that some had been diagnosed and told “to come back in a year’s time”.

The report stopped short of calling on NICE to reconsider its 2005 decision to deny patients in the early stages of dementia access to four drugs - donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine - which some claimed improved the quality of life dementia sufferers could expect.

But Professor Tony Hope, one of the report’s authors, did say decisions about how NHS money should be spent on dementia drugs should take into account the welfare of the person and their family, not just improvements in mental ability.

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