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National Dementia Strategy launched

GPs trained to identify the first signs of dementia will work with "memory clinics" in every town in the country under new government plans.

The National Dementia Strategy also stipulates that every hospital and care home must have a senior clinician to ensure that the needs of dementia sufferers are met.

But Rebecca Wood, Head of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "This is only the first step to tackling our dementia crisis, and it is a huge letdown that so much has been left out.

"It is astonishing that dementia research is not a fundamental component of this strategy, and disappointing that the review of antipsychotic drugs has been delayed yet again."

A review of the use of these drugs - one of the most controversial aspects of caring for people with dementia in care homes - is not due to be published until the spring.

There are at present 700,000 people in the UK with dementia, but the figure is rising as people live longer.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the number would double in the next 30 years, with the cost of treating the illness tripling.

Copyright © Press Association 2009 

National Dementia Strategy