Dementia patients must receive part of a £2.4billion NHS fund to help with ‘unfair and unsustainable’ care costs, MPs say
- A cross-party group demanded dementia sufferers be given a personal budget
- Letter signed by MPs said sufferers must be given some of £2.4 billion NHS fund
- They say the money would help them with ‘unfair and unsustainable’ care costs
Dementia patients must be given part of a £2.4 billion NHS fund to help with ‘unfair and unsustainable’ care costs, MPs will say today.
A cross-party group of 68 MPs demanded sufferers be given a personal budget of thousands of pounds a year.
This could be spent on the care costs required to live with the disease such as home adaptations and care home costs – which are up to 15 per cent more expensive for patients with dementia as they are deemed more difficult to look after.
Dementia patients must be given part of a £2.4 billion NHS fund to help with ‘unfair and unsustainable’ care costs, MPs will say today
In an open letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, MPs said they wanted part of the promised £20 billion NHS boost to go directly to the patients to help with their care, The Times reported.
Conservative MPs included Andrea Jenkyns and Mark Prisk joined Labour MPs Rachael Maskell and Rosie Cooper as well as Heidi Allen of Change UK and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party in signing the letter.
The letter reads: ‘The NHS is committed to the principle of access based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay.
‘We back the Alzheimer’s Society’s proposal of a dementia fund… available to individuals post-diagnosis, to enable their continued independence in the community for as long as possible.’
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.
In the current system, the majority of people with dementia have to fund the entirety of their care unless they are deemed to have assets of less than £23,250.
There are around 420,000 people with dementia in England and the average cost of an individual’s care is £100,000.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, told The Times: ‘Decades of underfunding have left people with dementia struggling with a system that is unfair and unsustainable.
‘The injustice of people battling to get care, on top of battling the devastating effects of dementia, can’t go on.’
Proposals by the Alzheimer’s Society want the money to go to measures to keep sufferers out of hospital and reduce pressure on A&E.
Entering hospital can be a disorienting and frightening experience for dementia sufferers when they are exposed to unfamiliar settings and people.
An NHS England spokesman said: ‘There has been major progress on diagnosing dementia over the past few years, exceeding the goal set for the NHS.
‘The NHS long-term plan prioritises further improvements in dementia care, with GPs being given additional support to spot the tell-tale signs of dementia and provide additional help.’