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Access problems leave dementia patients unsupported, GPs say


6 July 2015

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Dementia patients are left unsupported after diagnosis, due to a shortfall in accessible local services, 70% of GPs said in a survey released today.

This means dementia patients are forced to depend on their families for care, 77% of GPs said in the Alzheimer's Society survey of more than 1,000 doctors.

Dementia patients are left unsupported after diagnosis, due to a shortfall in accessible local services, 70% of GPs said in a survey released today.

This means dementia patients are forced to depend on their families for care, 77% of GPs said in the Alzheimer's Society survey of more than 1,000 doctors.

Patients, families and carers are left confused by the health and social care system 73% of GPs believe, while 61% say a lack of cooperation between the NHS and social care acts as a barrier to patients support.

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.

The report Dementia 2015: Aiming higher to transform lives from the Alzheimer's Society, states NHS England and local authorities must ensure every dementia patient has a dementia advisor, and that there is a single point of contact to help carers navigate the health and social care system. 

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."

The charity is pressing for a national action plan to combat dementia over the next five years.

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