£1.5 million for Gwent dementia care plan

DEMENTIA patients across Gwent are set to benefit from a major investment that could see five new specialist posts created as part of a Wales-wide programme.

An extra £1.5 million will be invested in dementia services across Wales, with the aim of providing an additional dedicated clinical post in every older person’s community mental health team (CMHT).

Each new specialist would provide advice and support to people diagnosed with dementia, and also support memory clinics, and dementia training and awareness-raising for NHS staff.

Gwent has five CMHTs which provide care for people aged 65 and over.

The funding, from the Assembly, will also help develop new community services devoted to young onset dementia, to support hospital and community services, and GPs in managing their patients, and providing direct input into some complex cases.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that there are currently 39,000 people with dementia in Wales.

This is set to rise by more than one third over the next 20 years, with one-in-three people over 65 expected to suffer a form of dementia.

If the latter estimate is borne out, then by 2030 there may be more than 40,000 people in Gwent living with dementia.

The funding is intended to support Wales’ dementia action plan, which proposes better joint working across health, social care, the voluntary sector and other agencies, improvement of early diagnosis and timely intervention, better information and support for people with the illness and their carers or families, and more training for those delivering care.