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Drugs: Dementia

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009

Statement

My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Phil Hope) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government have today published an independent clinical report by Professor Sube Banerjee, into the prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs to people with dementia, together with a government response to the report. The report was commissioned by the Government in recognition of widespread concern about the overprescription of these drugs, and as part of the priority being given to improving care for people with dementia.

The Government welcome the report prepared by Professor Banerjee, and accept the conclusions and recommendations he has reached. The report acknowledges that these drugs are currently being overprescribed, and contains a series of recommendations to the Government and others on action to address the current level of overprescription.

A number of the report’s recommendations are addressed to bodies outside the Department of Health. The report will therefore be widely disseminated by the department to those with an interest, and we expect the findings and recommendations to be taken into account by all relevant organisations. The Government support the best practice guidance identified in the report, with quality and safety being the overriding principles. There will be a need for primary care trusts, local authorities and other bodies to work together to take forward the report’s recommendations, particularly taking into account the interface between health and social care services.

The report from Professor Banerjee, and the Government’s response to it, have both been placed in the Library and copies are available to honourable Members from the Vote Office. It can also be found at www.dh.gov.uk.dementia.