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Give dementia patients an advisor and a single point of contact, report says

Dementia patients need a specific dementia advisor, and a single point of contact to help carers navigate the health and social care system, report states.

After surveying more than 1,000 GPs, the Alzheimer's Society report, Dementia 2015: Aiming higher to transform lives, revealed that 73% of GPs believe patients, families and carers are left confused by the health and social care system.

Moreover, 77% of GPs don't think that they've had sufficient dementia training to give them a good understanding of how to manage a person with the condition.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee deputy chair, said: “Some of the most vulnerable people in our society are not receiving the level of care and support they deserve.

“Difficulty in accessing social care support has become an everyday reality for GPs, patients and carers. Sadly it is not only the case for those diagnosed with dementia, but also affects the large number of people living with long term conditions or with frail elderly relatives,” he said.

The report calls for a five-year government plan for people with dementia and warned that a gathering 'momentum of change' will be lost unless statutory and voluntary sector agencies redouble their efforts to improve dementia care.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society, said: “Our survey gives a stark view from the doctor's surgery of people with dementia left struggling in the aftermath of a diagnosis. GPs report an endemic and deeply worrying lack of support available from health and social services, with relatives left to pick up the pieces alone.”