Commenting on the Commission for Social Care Inspection's report See me, not just the dementia, The King's Fund Chief Executive Niall Dickson said:
'Over the next 20 years we are going to witness a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from dementia. Unless there is a major breakthrough in drugs to arrest the course of this illness, there will be a great need for extra care and support, some of it quite intense.
'Specifically the increase in very old people in the next 20 years re-enforces the need for affordable and good quality social care as the very old – those over 85 – are more likely to have outlived friends and family and won’t have that informal network of support to turn to for help.
'It's admittedly hard for the NHS and social services to plan that far into the future but with almost one million people suffering with dementia by 2026 it's important that we start making the changes now that will ensure the necessary services are in place to meet future demand.'
Notes to editors:
- The King’s Fund report Paying the Price: The cost of mental health care in England to 2026 found that: Due to an aging population incidences of dementia will increase by 61% between 2007 and 2026 from 582,827 to 937,636; Current mental health service costs are £22.5 billion. This includes direct NHS costs, social service costs, the estimated economic value of informal care and where appropriate costs to the criminal justice services; Service costs specifically for caring for people with dementia are projected to rise from £14.9 billion in 2007 to £34.8 billion by 2026.
- The report’s recommendations included the following: Future governments should ensure that funding for health and social care services keep is sufficient to meet expected future health need; Given the major cost impact of dementia a priority should be made of early detection and treatment of dementia by GPs and research into cost-effective treatments by pharmaceutical companies.
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