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At the heart of general practice since 1960

All GPs to get dementia training

By Gareth Iacobucci

GPs are to be trained to spot the early signs of dementia under radical Government plans announced ahead of next month's national dementia strategy.

Ministers are also proposiong a large expansion of memory clinics, as first revealed by Pulse last month. Clinics are to be set up in every town to allow patients to get treatment and support as quickly as possible.

The Department of Health said it wanted to ensure that every GP is trained to be able to detect early signs of dementia, and pledged to increase training opportunities for medical students to specialise in the condition.

Some 700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: ‘We want to make sure every GP is trained to spot the first signs of dementia, and to refer patients on to specialists.

‘The Department of Health will work with all relevant medical and nursing organisations - including the Royal College of GPs, Skills for Care and the NHS - to make sure that appropriate training is provided for medical students, and we will create opportunities for post-graduate education and training in dementia.'

Care Services minister Phil Hope said the initiative was a key priority because the number of sufferers was going to double or triple.

The minister told the Daily Mail: ‘We want to see every GP trained to recognise the symptoms of early dementia and patients referred to specialist services in every area where they would get a proper diagnosis.

‘As well as national training for GPs, we'd like to see memory clinics in every town where people can go for treatment and support to help them live their life as normally as possible.

‘This could be provided by a range of different people, from geriatricians and psychiatrists to local GPs with a specialist interest, working in partnership and possibly involving the voluntary sector.'

All GPs to get training in how to spot the early signed of dementia. Picture posed by models All GPs to get training in how to spot the early signed of dementia. Picture posed by models

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