Help call for Bradford's dementia patients

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Kris Hopkins Kris Hopkins

Government plans to double funding for dementia research have been welcomed but a charity insists more still needs to be done to support people in Bradford, says a charity.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK would raise its annual funding for dementia research to £132 million by 2025 – up from the 2015 target of £66 million.

Although 65 per cent of people in Bradford with dementia have been diagnosed, way ahead of the national average of 48 per cent, the Alzheimers Society says it still has concerns that more action is needed in the city and across the district to help improve patients’ social lives.

Paul Smithson, who is services manager for Bradford Alzheimer's Society, said: “While we welcome the news of more money being spent we feel more has to be done right now to support people. Bradford might be one of the better areas in the country with high diagnosis rates and there is a lot of positive work going on but we still have concerns.

“We would urge Bradford Council to consider as more people are coming through with dementia diagnosis, they are needing more services such as access to respite or day care at a time when these very services are being squeezed in the budget.”

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said he hoped the move doubling Government funding would now act as a catalyst for a global effort to tackle the condition.

Across Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven there are 49.5 per cent of people with dementia who have been diagnosed.

Mr Hopkins said: “In addition to the increased annual funding for research, we have provided £50 million to adapt wards and care homes for people with dementia, and new monies to support the Dementia Friends scheme which seeks to boost early diagnosis.”

The announcement of a £3.8 billion fund to help health and social care work services work better together also shifts the focus onto reducing unnecessary hospital admissions by dementia patients.

Last month the Government published figures which showed an average six-week wait across the Bradford district to be tested for dementia and a ten-week wait for results.

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