News & Views

28 February 2014

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt pledges faster diagnosis for dementia

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt has pledged much faster diagnosis times for people with suspected dementia and says he wants Britain to be a leader in both diagnosis and the search for a cure.

Those who see their doctor with concerns about their memory and thought processes will by March be diagnosed within six weeks rather than six months, as is currently the case in some places, said Hunt. Only half of those with dementia now have a diagnosis at all – a figure he wants to rise to 66%.

At the moment, the wait for a diagnosis is no more than six weeks in about 75% of the country, but there are areas where it can be many months. Some doctors feel a diagnosis is not very helpful, because there are few treatments for the condition and the drugs that exist do not help everyone.

But, said Hunt at an international summit in Paris, the long uncertainty caused patients and their families stress and anxiety. Knowing the truth within six weeks would enable people to get access to drugs which can sometimes delay the progression of the disease. It would also enable families to plan for the future.

"How we respond to dementia is the litmus test of whether we can face up to the challenge of an ageing population, and do so in a way which allows compassion and dignity.

"Dementia can be a horrific and heartbreaking disease, but it is my mission as health secretary to make this country the best place in the world to get a dementia diagnosis, as well as a global leader in the fight to find a cure," said Hunt in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

One in three people will develop dementia in later life. In December, the government convened a G8 dementia summit in London, which concluded with a pledge to find a cure or treatment by 2025 – which many would think an ambitious goal. The UK promised to double its research funding to £132m by that year.

In Paris, the health secretary also said that Marks & Spencer, Argos, Homebase and Lloyds Banking Group will train more than 120,000 staff to help and support customers with dementia.

David Cameron will on Friday announce a World Dementia Council headed by a World Dementia Envoy. Dr Dennis Gillings, an expert in clinical research trials, is to stimulate research.

Labour said the prime minister was right to focus on dementia, but called for him to do more for those afflicted with the disease right now.

"£2.7bn has been cut from council care budgets under this government, hitting the quality of life of hundred of thousands of people with dementia and their families. This isn't good for them, and is a false economy as an increasing number of elderly people with dementia are ending up in hospitals or care homes when they don't need to," said Liz Kendall MP, Labour's shadow minister for Care and Older People.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is intended only for the use of Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) and other professionally recognised financial intermediaries & institutions.. Should you proceed to access this site, you will be representing and warranting that you are an IFA or other professionally recognised financial intermediary . What follows is not an offer or invitation to acquire an investment and should therefore not be relied upon by, any person in any jurisdiction where such an offer or invitation would be unlawful. Persons in respect of whom such prohibitions apply must not access this web site. None of the information contained on this site constitutes personal recommendations nor advice. Product details should always be read in conjunction with the appropriate offering documents. An application for any of the investment products on this page should be made having fully read not only the relevant application form, but also the relevant terms and conditions and offering documents. If you are unsure about the meaning of any information provided on this web page, then please consult your financial or other professional adviser. We do not offer investment advice.

This web site may contain or be linked to advice or statements of third parties. We make no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or suitability of such information, and we have not and will not review or update such information and caution you that any use made of such information is at your own risk. Some of the information contained on this web site may also have been prepared or provided by third parties and may not have been verified by us. We hereby exclude any liability arising out of any preparation or provision of such information for the web site and makes no warranty as to the accuracy, suitability or completeness of any such information.

I agree, Continue

Information on this webpage relates to and is provided by Montreux Capital Management (UK) Limited

The content of this webpage should not be construed as financial advice. Any decision to invest should be made only on the basis of the relevant documentation for each investment. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The value of an investment may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Investments in small unquoted companies carry an above-average level of risk. These investments are highly illiquid and as such, there may not be a readily available market to sell such an investment. Montreux Capital Management (UK) Limited and Sapia Partners LLP (together "the Sponsors," or "Sponsor) do not provide specific individual advice on the suitability of investments with regard to a potential investor's individual circumstances, risk tolerance or investment objectives and investors should seek independent financial advice if they are in any doubt whether a product is suitable for them.

Montreux Capital Management (UK) Limited is an Appointed Representative of Sapia Partners LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

I agree, Continue