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MPs probe dementia treatment cost

4 January 2011

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Early support for people with dementia could cut costs further down the line, a group of MPs and peers have claimed.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia has launched an inquiry into the increasing costs of treating people with the condition.

The group will examine how money can be better spent on tackling dementia.

The annual cost of treatment and care for sufferers is likely to increase by a third from an estimated £20bn at present to more than £27bn by 2018, the committee warned.

Committee chairwoman Baroness Greengross said: “As the number of people with dementia rises, the financial burden will only increase.

“In this difficult economic climate, it’s imperative that money is spent wisely.

“We know that it’s possible to create cost savings and deliver better quality of care for people with dementia.

“We want people to share ideas and practical examples so that the NHS, local authorities and others can deliver the best care at the right price.”

A report by the Alzheimer’s Society last year concluded that at least £80m could be saved annually by enabling people with dementia to leave hospital a week earlier.

Local liaison services in Leeds and Doncaster are already pioneering ways to reduce hospital admissions and increase early discharge.

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