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Dementia Care

Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 19 February 2019

9. What plans he has to ensure that improvements to dementia care are included in the forthcoming Green Paper on social care. (909309)

The social care Green Paper will bring forward proposals to ensure that all adults, including those living with dementia, receive high-quality care whenever they need it. The Government also remain committed to delivering Challenge on Dementia 2020, making dementia care in England the best in the world.

Sadly, there are an estimated 3,000 people over 65 living with dementia in my constituency. It is clear that the social care crisis is a dementia crisis. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that dementia care providers often charge a premium rate of over 40% more than the standard rate. Will the Minister consider introducing a new dementia fund, as part of the Green Paper process, to end the unfairness facing dementia patients and their families?

The hon. Lady is absolutely right to raise dementia. It is a massive issue in everybody’s constituency and there is hardly a family that is not affected by it in some way. We are on track to meet our pledge to invest £300 million in dementia between 2015 and 2020. We continue to fund research for dementia treatments and cures. The Care Act 2014 introduced a national threshold that defines the care needs local authorities must meet, eliminating the postcode lottery of eligibility across the UK.

When the Minister of State looks at the proposals for the Green Paper on social care reform, will she consider the German system of compulsory social care insurance? The rate has increased by only 0.94% since its introduction in 1994, while delivering care for dementia and other impacts that were not assessed back in 1994.

My hon. Friend tempts me to do some big reveals about the contents of the Green Paper. I will say that it will look at a number of different funding options.

On dementia in the community, many people with low-onset or mid-onset dementia can, with the right social care, stay in their home. The crucial part is to have the funding necessary to allow people to get social care support. Will the Minister, in the Green Paper, commit specific sums for social care to keep people with dementia in their homes?

The adult social care Green Paper will look at the long-term sustainability of the funding of the adult social care system. In the meantime the Government are investing by giving councils access to up to £10 billion over the current three-year period, to help to address some of the shortfalls in adult social care funding and to ensure that people have the right services in their local areas.

The best way to help dementia patients is to have joined-up NHS and social care provision. Will my hon. Friend work with the Secretary of State to take advantage of local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire to develop a combined NHS and adult social care pilot?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise this point. Integrated health and care systems are very much the way forward if we are to deliver the future of adult social care that we all want. The long-term plan for the NHS was developed in tandem with the adult social care Green Paper and has already shown some of the innovations that we think will make a massive difference, such as the roll-out of the enhanced health in care homes model.