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GPs to screen all at-risk patients for dementia

GPs will be expected to screen large proportions of their practice list for the signs of dementia, under the details of a new DES published today.

Under the draft terms of the DES, GPs will have to assess all patients over 75 years and those aged over 60 years with CVD, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and diabetes.

All patients with learning disabilities and long term neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease should also be assessed for the early signs of dementia, the Department of Health said today.

At the initial assessment GPs will have to question patients to see if there are any concerns about their memory and follow up if necessary with a more specific test to detect early signs of dementia, such as GP Cog.

Patients who are suspected of having dementia should be referred to a memory assessment service or memory clinic for a further assessment and GPs should also offer support to their carers, says the draft terms of the DES.

The DES will be funded by the cash released from the abolition of the organisational domain of QOF.


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