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Dementia funding being diverted

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Primary care trusts are spending money intended for dementia on other things, an MPs’ report has said.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia used the Freedom of Information Act to question primary care trusts (PCTs) on their spending habits.

More than two-thirds of trusts surveyed were unable to say if or how they spent money allocated to them last year by the Government when it launched its National Dementia Strategy.

Only 31% (22) of PCTs who responded said they had allocated their proportion of the £150 million made available by the Government.

The same number could not say how dementia strategy funds had been spent because the money was inseparable from other funding.

The APPG on Dementia sent FOI requests to 152 PCTs in England, of whom 70 PCTs (46%) replied.

Jeremy Wright, chairman of the APPG on Dementia, said the funds should be audited to ensure PCTs spent the cash on helping people with dementia.

“While evidence does exist of action being taken by many PCTs, it would seem the national dream of the dementia strategy is still a long way from being a reality at local level.

“Better checks on how and where money is being spent are essential if we are to make the most of this golden opportunity to stem the tide of dementia and provide people with dementia with the care and support they need.”

Care services minister Phil Hope said: “With local flexibility comes responsibility and accountability - I will hold local areas to account if they are not investing in dementia services and do not have action plans in place by our deadline on 31 March.”

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • The NHS still wants dementia to be seen as a "social" issue, not a health need which it has to recognise and provide services for. Until there is a change in attitude, the diversion of funds will continue.

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  • This money has been provided by the govt to PCT's for dementia services/care.

    It has not been provided to fill financial shortfalls in other areas.

    The lack of action plans by PCT's is worrying and quite frankly smacks of a couldn't care less attitude.

    I hope Mr Hope is as good as his word in holding these slack PCT's (and the people who run them) to account and ensure they give dementia the attention it needs now and will increasingly need in the future.

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  • I am a primary care mental healthworker, AND have a parent with alzheimers. The real tragedy of NOT investing the allocated money into dementia care is that the whole family suffers and carers end up using mental health services for their own needs. More often than not this includes increasing the anti depressant budget as GPs have little elst to offer. Far more early intervention and support is needed for dementia to avoid sufferers and their carers spilling into other services.

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  • It never fails to amaze me the lack of accountability the health service has as regards its finances and in this instance is nothing far short of scandalous

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  • The PCTs were not informed at the time of their budget setting of the amount of funding for dementia that was to be put in their budgets so were not in a position to plan for its use. The first that many of us knew of it was when the Freedom of Information requests came in.

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