In the wake of the three-year Prime Minister’s “Dementia Challenge” (2012), David Cameron has announced the follow-up Prime Minister’s Challenge On Dementia 2020. The plan is to further transform dementia research, dementia care and support. It is anticipated that by 2020 England should be the best country in the world (i) to perform research into dementia (and other neurodegenerative diseases), (ii) for dignified, compassionate dementia care and (iii) for the quality of support services available to people with dementia (and their carers / families). Specific objectives, targets and ambitions are briefly as follows:
- Improved public awareness and understanding of the risk factors for dementia and how these can be reduced through healthier lifestyle choices.
- Equality of access to diagnosis, and the national waiting time target being an average of 6 weeks for an initial assessment, following a referral from a GP.
- Named GPs will have responsibility for the coordination and continuity of care for people diagnosed with dementia.
- Everyone diagnosed with dementia, and their carers / families, should receive meaningful post-diagnosis care and support services.
- All NHS staff should receive appropriate training in dementia awareness.
- All hospitals and care homes should meet minimum standards of dementia friendliness.
- The Alzheimer’s Society will aim to recruit an additional 3 million Dementia Friends in England.
- Progress of town and cities working towards official recognition as “Dementia Friendly Communities” should mean that over half of people with dementia live within such dementias-friendly social environments.
- Businesses will be encouraged and supported to become dementia friendly, offering dementia awareness training to staff.
- National and local government will play a leadership role ensuring public sector organisations are dementia friendly. All tiers of local government will join their local Dementia Action Alliance.
- Dementia research will be career opportunity of choice.
- Dementia research funding will double by 2025 (as projected).
- An international dementia research institute will be established in England.
- Cross-sector partnerships will be encouraged between universities, research charities, the NHS and private sector organisations.
- An international framework for dementia research will be fostered further, with the aim of discovering cures, or at least disease modifying therapies, by 2025.
- Research will inform effective service models and care pathways, enabling suitable interventions to be implemented across health and care sectors.
- Open access to research results and publications will be encouraged.
- More patients will be encouraged to participate in dementia research.
Government pledges £300m on dementia research. London: BBC Health News, February 21st 2015.
This relates to:
Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020. London: Department of Health, February 21st 2015.
Gallagher, J. (2015). Alzheimer’s charity hails one million ‘dementia friends’. London: BBC Health News, February 21st 2015.
PM launches next phase of Britain’s fight against dementia. London [Online]: Department of Health, February 21st 2015.
David Cameron announces Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020. London: Department of Health / Dementia Challenge, February 23rd 2015.