Friday, 6 December 2019

Campaign reply - Will you show your support for people affected by dementia?

A number of constituents have written to me with a campaign email concerning support for people with dementia care.

Like many other families I too have a close family member with dementia and know how distressing this is both for the sufferer and the family.

The Conservative manifesto sets out in some detail the issues facing the country on social care and specifically mentions dementia. Above all else I firmly believe a political consensus must be found. I copy below the relevant section:

Improving social care
It is a basic, compassionate
Conservative belief that we should
care for those in need – helping
those who cannot help themselves.
Thanks to decades of economic growth
and scientific innovation, people are
living longer, healthier lives. But this,
alongside the rise of dementia and other
chronic conditions, means that the
pressures on the elderly care system
are ever-increasing. There has also been
significant growth in the number of
working-age people with disabilities who
need care at a younger age.
We need to have a system to give every
person the dignity and security that
they deserve. This is a significant and
complex challenge and in order to lay
the foundations, we must plan for the
infrastructure, workforce growth and
healthcare integration that is required
for a care system fit for the 21st century.
Because this is a long-term problem that
will affect so many people, any solution
has to be able to survive long-term.
We must build the same level of
consensus on social care as we have
already built on the NHS.
So we will build a cross-party
consensus to bring forward an answer
that solves the problem, commands
the widest possible support, and stands
the test of time. That consensus will
consider a range of options but one
condition we do make is that nobody
needing care should be forced to sell
their home to pay for it.
As a first step, and to stabilise the
system, we announced in the autumn
additional funding of £1 billion for the
year beginning in April 2020. We are
now confirming this additional funding
in every year of the new Parliament.
We will also extend the entitlement to
leave for unpaid carers, the majority of
whom are women, to one week.
We also want to save millions of people,
and their families, from suffering
the agony of a slow decline due to
dementia. We will make finding a cure
one of our Government’s biggest
collective priorities – one of the ‘grand
challenges’ that will define our future
along with the impact of climate
change or artificial intelligence. This will
include doubling research funding into
dementia and speeding up trials for
new treatments.
We will also provide £74 million over
three years for additional capacity in
community care settings for those
with learning disabilities and autism.