Every GP in England will be trained to spot the first signs of dementia in a bid to improve care, under new government plans.
The National Dementia Strategy, which will be announced by health secretary Alan Johnson and care services minister Phil Hope, will lay out plans to improve diagnosis and treatment of dementia across England, while saving almost £1bn.
A senior doctor is to be appointed to oversee the service that hospitals and care homes provide for dementia sufferers, and "memory clinics" will be set up in every town to help sufferers live their lives as normally as possible.
Under the long-awaited plans, a senior clinician will be put in charge at every hospital and care home to ensure that the care of sufferers is met.
But the plans, which are aimed at helping the 700,000 people in the UK with dementia, have faced criticism from health experts, with some saying they do not focus enough on researching the condition.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "This strategy is only the first step to tackling our dementia crisis and it is a huge letdown that so much has been left out.
"It is astonishing that dementia research is not a fundamental component of this strategy."
Copyright © Press Association 2009
What do you think of the strategy? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"I think it is an excellent idea, having watched Miss Phillips' and Terry Prachett's TV programmes, I think these two famous people raised the awareness significantly. I can only thank them" – Helen Instone, Lancashire