A group of cross-party MPs is calling for a Dementia Fund to help pay for the care of people with dementia because this group does not currently receive free nursing care from the NHS.
The group of 68 MPs have come out in support of a report from the Alzheimer’s Society about the need for high-quality person-centred care that would be paid for by a dedicated Dementia Fund of £2.4 billion, mapped within plans to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan and then established in the upcoming Spending Review.
The Alzheimer’s Society said this would end the dementia penalty, “bringing fairness into the system and improving quality of care while a long-term funding solution is sought”.
The MPs have signed an open letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, written by APPG for Ageing and Older people Chair MP Rachael Maskell, calling for people with dementia to be given personal budgets that they can spend on care home costs or home adaptations. The Society said people with dementia typically spend £100,000 on their care.
The letter States: “While people with cancer have their treatment costs covered by the NHS, those with dementia struggle to finance the increasing costs of care as council-run social care is cut back.”
It sets out the need for urgent investment into services and support for people with dementia in absence of the long-awaited social care Green Paper.
The Alzheimer’s Society report suggests that the Dementia Fund would benefit the NHS in the long term, as fewer people living with dementia would be forced to go to A&E at crisis point, and the Fund would ensure better support is in place to enable people living with dementia to leave hospital as soon as they are well enough.
Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said: “We are calling for urgent investment in high quality care through a dedicated Dementia Fund. It’s time to end the dementia penalty that‘s preventing people from getting the care they need and deserve.
“The overwhelming cross party support shown through the open letter to the Health Secretary illustrates how indisputable this crisis is. A Dementia Fund will provide help now to remedy the situation for people with dementia, while we wait for the Green Paper and a long-term sustainable funding solution for social care.”
Last reviewed 14 May 2019