Dementia Challenge will include end of life care

4 May 2012
The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) has welcomed the Prime Minister's decision to make end of life care for people with advanced dementia an additional aim of the Dementia Strategy.

Following the publication of the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia, NCPC had favourably greeted the Government's commitment to delivering major improvements in dementia care and research, and the Prime Minister putting his personal commitment behind such an important issue.

However, NCPC and other organisations expressed concern that the challenge did not explicitly include end of life care for people with advanced dementia.

NCPC, which leads the Dying Matters Coalition, felt this was a missed opportunity as it and others have worked closely together to join up the implementation of the End of Life Care Strategy with the Dementia Strategy.  

NCPC together with Age UK, Dementia UK, Help the Hospices, the National Care Forum and Sue Ryder wrote to the Prime Minister to offer their help in ensuring that the Dementia Challenge delivers improvements in the care of people with dementia right until the end of life. Subsequently, the Department of Health confirmed that end of life care would be made an additional priority in the Dementia Strategy.

Three Champion Groups have been established by the Prime Minister to lead on the Challenge on Dementia. NCPC’s Chief Executive, Eve Richardson, was invited to be a member of the Health and Care Champion Group, and attended the group's first meeting earlier this week.

NCPC will use the expertise of NCPC’s Dementia Group to support the work of all three Champion Groups, and the Dying Matters Coalition will work closely with the Dementia Action Alliance to help raise awareness of the need for better understanding of the needs of people with dementia from early diagnosis through to the end of their life.

Speaking today, Eve Richardson said: "We're really encouraged that end of life care has now been recognised as part of the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia. One in three people over the age of 65 will die with dementia, and their condition will be a significant factor at the end of their lives. At NCPC and Dying Matters we will do all we can to ensure that the Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge helps play a significant part in improving end of life care for people with dementia."


External link: The Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia  (26th March, Department of Heath)

External link: Department of Health press release confirming end of life care as an additional aim (30th April, Department of Health)

External link: BBC’s coverage of this issue (4th May, BBC News)

External link: The National Dementia Strategy included Objective 12: Improved end of life care for people with dementia (2009, Depatment of Health)

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