Government announces winning bids for dementia pilots


The government has announced the winning bids to run pilot projects that form part of its national dementia strategy.
Phil Hope, the care services minister, announced the 22 sites across England where advisors will guide people with dementia and their families through the care system, and ensure access to care, support and advice.
He also announced the locations of another 18 areas which will test different ways of providing practical and emotional support for people with dementia and their carers, and allow them to take part in developing local services.
These support services will include cafes where people with dementia and their carers can meet, and a social networking website for people with dementia.
Hope made the announcement while visiting the Croydon Memory Clinic, an example of the specialist services that will be set up across England to ensure early diagnosis and intervention.
He said that people with dementia and their families were under “huge strain” and the advisors would be there when they needed help, from diagnosis onwards.
He said this project would test what kind of support worked best for families, and added: “After that, I want to see dementia advisors start taking up posts all around the country.”
Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said the announcement marked the start of “an exciting period of transformation in dementia care”.
He added: “The Alzheimer’s Society is pleased to be a part of such positive projects that have the potential to change the lives of thousands of people.”
The national dementia strategy was launched in February and has been backed by £150 million over the first two years.
It aims to “increase awareness of dementia, ensure early diagnosis and intervention and radically improve the quality of care that people with the condition receive”.
During a debate on dementia in the Lords in June, the government spokeswoman Baroness Thornton said the £150 million – as well as £25 million for councils to provide short-term emergency cover for carers – would be followed by further funding later in the strategy’s five-year implementation, because, she said, “£150 million would not be adequate if it was all that was there”.
9 July 2009