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Doctors to get dementia training

With the number of dementia sufferers is expected to explode in the coming years, all GPs will be trained to recognise the first signs of the disease, it has been announced.

Care services minister Phil Hope said to provide sufferers with a better quality of life, "memory clinics" will also be set up in every town where patients can access treatment and support.

In the UK, around 700,000 people have a form of dementia. The minister said provision is a priority as the number was expected to double or even triple.

A national dementia strategy, to be launched next month, could save nearly £1bn while providing better care, he added.

Mr Hope told the Daily Mail the service could be provided by a range of different health professionals, from geriatricians and psychiatrists to local GPs, and could involve working with the voluntary sector.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the government will be working closely with the Royal College of GPs, Skills for Care and the NHS to make sure that appropriate training is provided for medical students, and to create "opportunities for postgraduate education and training in dementia".

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Department of Health

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"The majority of elderly people with mental health problems and dementia are cared for in the community by a predominantly unqualified and unregulated workforce. Training is often no more than a regurgitation of facts from a pre-written script, delivered by trainers who might as well
be training monkeys and donkeys in a circus" - Kresh Ramanah, London