Drive to inform dementia strategy

The Alzheimer's Society has begun a series of regional 'listening events' as it considers how to raise awareness of dementia.

The events take place as the deadline approaches for recommendations to be given to the Government on the content of the first national dementia strategy.

Opinions collected from the society's nationwide events will be fed into the final report of an external reference group chaired by The Alzheimer's Society CEO Neil Hunt.

The group now has less than a month to consult patients, carers, families and professionals before submitting recommendations to the Department of Health on 20 March. A key focus of the report is how to raise awareness of dementia.

Kinross + Render CEO Sara Render is chairing the sub-group, which focuses on how to best improve awareness of the disease among professionals and the wider public.

'We have a very tight deadline for this. Our last meeting is on 28 February, so we have been pushing hard to make sure any charities and groups representing carers that have an opinion are getting involved,' said Render.

The group is looking at how to avoid fear and stigma preventing people from getting an early diagnosis and how to improve the quality of information patients receive, as well as raising professional understanding.

Third-sector PROs, including representatives from Age Concern and Carers UK, are involved in the process.

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