Figures from the Alzheimer’s Research Trust state that there are currently around 820,000 people suffering from dementia in the UK, a number which is only expected to dramatically increase over the next decade.
The government has also said the number of people receiving continuing care has risen by almost two thirds in the past three years and guidelines have now been issued to primary care trusts (PCTs) detailing how they should assess the continuing care needs of people with dementia.
Barbara Pointon, from Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “What’s happening with NHS continuing health care is it’s getting more and more difficult to get in the first place, and when people with dementia move into the advanced stage and need more care, it’s being taken away from them.”
Richard Humphries, from the health think tank, told the BBC “The system is increasingly broken and it will struggle to cope with the rising tide of people with dementia and people will become more dissatisfied with it.
According to a spokesperson from the Department of Health, the overall number of people receiving NHS funded continuing care had risen from 31,000 at the end of March 2007 to about 51,000 at the end of September.