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NHS England appoint regional dementia ‘ambassadors’ to boost diagnoses

Seven GP ‘dementia ambassadors’ have been recruited by NHS England to advise practices in their region on timely dementia diagnosis, and support CCGs in developing their dementia expertise.

The ambassadors – who are based across London, the south, the north, the midlands and Scotland – include responsible officers, CCG members and trainers and will help NHS England in its drive to diagnose two-thirds of dementia sufferers by 2015.

The GPs, named by NHS England, are Dr Sunil Gupta, Dr Nick Cartmell, Dr David Findlay, Dr Elizabeth Barrett, Deborah Cohen, Dr Daniel Harwood, Dr Paul Twomey.

Dr Cartmell, a GP in Ashburton, Devon and clinical advisor for dementia in the south, said: ‘People with dementia can access better quality care from receiving a diagnosis and as an ambassador I plan to help the GP surgeries in my region to identify more people who have this condition.’

Essex GP Dr Gupta, dementia advisor for the Midlands, said: ‘While some GPs may be sceptical about the benefits of diagnosing a patient with dementia, a timely diagnosis can make a significant difference to the quality of a patient’s life and the support they and their carer receives.’

This comes as the GPC agreed to retire QOF points for CKD and coronoary heart disease to expand the points available for dementia care planning.