10-Year Plan for Dementia

The following is the text of a letter that I sent to the Secretary of State urging the delivery of a 10-year plan for dementia as soon as possible:

“I’m getting in touch having been contacted by Alzheimer’s Society campaigners in my constituency to ask that you deliver the 10-year plan for dementia as soon as possible.

As you’ll know, the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, committed to delivering the 10-year plan for dementia last May, stating the document would be published by the end of this year.  My constituents are writing to me based on the lack of progress here, and notably, having heard about answers to recent Written Parliamentary Questions stating only that the plan will be delivered ‘in due course.’

Most of what I write here will not be new to you as you’ll have heard from many others about this, and of course you’ll be well versed on this subject as part of your role.

I am advised that 900,000 people live with dementia in the UK – a figure that’s set to rise to 1.6m people by 2040.  Despite being the UK’s biggest killer, it is not treated as one by the health and care system, with many facing delays in diagnosis and a lack of support. With dementia prevalence on the rise, it’s clear the 10-year plan for dementia is essential to provide a strategic vision for the condition moving forward.

Dementia is a whole-system challenge which needs a whole-system solution. Its complexity as a condition has led to a lack of ownership of the condition within the health and social care system, meaning people living with the condition face a postcode lottery in the quality and availability of support.  At a local level, the 10-year plan would also help commissioners to understand long-term ambitions for dementia so they can provide appropriate services for their populations.

I am thoroughly convinced by the Alzheimer Society’s good work here, notably in their claim on just how crucial this 10-year plan is to drive integration:
– push up stagnating dementia diagnosis rates
– reduce variation in standards of care and boost system readiness for new dementia treatments coming down the line
– in demonstrating the government’s commitment to prioritising dementia, which in turn could help tackle the stigma around the condition and ensure people can live well and participate fully in society without fear or discrimination

As our population ages and the number of people living with dementia rises, please can you ensure the plan is delivered as soon as possible, providing a timescale for when the Government intends to publish it? I look forward to hearing from you.”