To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve services for people with dementia in the South West.
[holding answer 8 April 2003]: The Government recognises the importance of ensuring that the needs of people with dementia and their carers are met. For that reason, the national service framework (NSF) for older people has set a standard and within this a service model that includes access to specialist care to ensure effective diagnosis, treatment and support. Local programmes are being developed as part of the NSF to improve services for older people with mental health problems, including dementia.In the south west peninsula, local specialist mental health, primary care and social services provide a range of services for people with dementia and their carers. This includes in-patient units for assessment and treatment, respite provision, community mental health teams, day services and support in the home and for carers. In Dorset and Somerset, there is capital investment to support mental health services, and partnerships have been developed with local community mental health groups. In Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, a planning and priorities framework target on mental health and older people has been included in local delivery plans.