Probe into dementia treatment costs

The increasing cost of treating dementia sufferers is the subject of an inquiry as it was revealed the funding needed should rise a third by 2018.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, which is looking at how money should be spent tackling the condition, said the annual treatment and care cost is likely to rise from an estimated £20 billion to more than £27 billion over the next eight years.

MPs and peers make up the body which said better early support would generate longer term savings.

Committee chairwoman Baroness Greengross said: “As the number of people with dementia rises, the financial burden will only increase.

“In this difficult economic climate, it’s imperative that money is spent wisely. We know that it’s possible to create cost savings and deliver better quality of care for people with dementia.

“We want people to share ideas and practical examples so that the NHS, local authorities and others can deliver the best care at the right price.”

An Alzheimer’s Society study said at least £80 million could be saved annually if sufferers left hospital a week earlier.

Liaison services in Leeds and Doncaster are pioneering ways to reduce hospital admissions and increase early discharge.