Wales Develop National Dementia Plan

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A new group of health professionals and experts will oversee the development of a national dementia plan for Wales, Health Minister Edwina Hart announced today.

The group, chaired by Ian Thomas, Director of Alzheimer's Society in Wales, will produce a draft plan for consultation by April 2009.

According to Alzheimer's Society, there are 37,000 people with dementia in Wales. This is set to rise by 35% over the next 20 years with one in three people over 65 expected to die with a form of dementia.

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Health Minister Edwina Hart said:

"The development of a National Dementia Plan for Wales is a major step forward for patients and their families. It will provide us with the opportunity to address current dementia services and look at how we can effectively deal with the projected growth in the number of people suffering with dementia over the next 20 years."

The group will examine conclusions from Dr. Charles Twining's Dementia scoping review - which said that dementia presents challenges throughout public services in Wales, not just mental health services, and research from Dementia UK to deliver suitable recommendations for the draft plan. It will also consider ideas put forward by Alzheimer's Society relating to information prescriptions - where patients are given advice, information and support along with their prescription in order to enable them to better understand their condition - and also consider dementia advisors and training for care staff.

Ian Thomas said: "I am delighted to be chairing this landmark group which will help support the development of a Dementia Plan for Wales. Dementia is the health and social care challenge of the century and this is an unrivalled opportunity to make sure the knowledge and expertise we now have about dementia care and treatment can transform the lives of families living with dementia in Wales."

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