Investment And Initiatives On Dementia Diagnosis And Care Welcome

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ROBIN Newton East Belfast DUP MLA said, I am greatly encouraged regarding care for dementia sufferers following a response to my question from Health Minister Simon Hamilton MLA.

Robin Newton said,

“East Belfast has the highest number of dementia sufferers in Northern Ireland (1,289 families suffering) as identified by the Alzheimer’s Society in a recent UK wide survey.  However, this illness affects thousands of individuals and families across Northern Ireland.

This is a dreadful disease that has implications for whole families as they watch their loved ones suffer.

I welcome the actions of the Health Minister in pushing forward with his Department’s Regional Dementia Strategy, including the development of memory clinics across the five Health and Social Care Trusts.  Early diagnosis is critical in the provision of information and support to advise on decisions around care, support and treatment.

That £6.25 million has been injected by Atlantic Philanthropies under a Developing Social Change Dementia initiative is welcome as additional money to improve dementia health and social care services.

The Minister’s initiative focuses on three key strands including promoting greater understanding of dementia across the entire community; improving training opportunities to enhance the quality of service; and developing support services for carers of people with dementia.

I am pleased the Health Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, is not resting on his laurels but also confirms he is moving forward with partnership projects with Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for Social Development on a further three dementia related projects.

Helping families and carer’s cope, helping sufferers live within the community and ensuring the earliest possible diagnosis of the disease is key to dealing with this growing mental health illness.”

Notes to editor –

1. Question referenced AQO 8373/11-15