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Work begins on national dementia strategy

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The government has ordered an immediate review of the prescribing and use of anti-psychotic drugs to treat dementia, under new plans to improve the quality of care of people with the condition.

Health minister Ivan Lewis last week launched a consultation on a national dementia strategy for England, which aims to ensure early diagnosis and intervention, increase awareness and remove the stigma associated with dementia.

He said the prescribing review, which will run ahead of the strategy itself, was ‘urgently needed’. The strategy proposals also include appointing named dementia care advisors as a single point of contact for patients throughout diagnosis and treatment, and the establishment of more ‘memory clinics’ where patients can get information about their condition and learn techniques for improving their memory.

In addition, care homes and acute hospitals could be asked to identify a key staff member as responsible for handling dementia patients.

The consultation period is due to end on 11 September, with the strategy expected to be published in October.

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