Charity calls for more dementia funding

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The head of a local charity is calling on MP Andrew Jones to secure more funding for dementia services after his own survey revealed only 59 per cent of people were satisfied with the services.

Jane Farquharson CEO of Age UK Knaresborough said: “I think the lack of money dedicated to this is a shambles.

“We need more money for dementia care. It is extremely frustrating that we can’t get funding. No-one is willing to fund us to look after people in the community, things like offering lunch clubs to people, who is paying for that? That takes money.

She added: “We are ready and willing to do that work all we need is the money.”

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones admitted that improving dementia care services in Harrogate is a big challenge but insisted that the Harrogate Dementia Collaborative was seeing postive results.

He said: “Over all working together is positive and it’s all on the right track but we need to recognise we have got a big challenge.

“We are dealing with often very vulnerable older people who are in need of health services and care.

“It is necessary to integrate services, both social care and health care services.”

The Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Trust who provide mental health care in the district said that waiting times for diagnosis had reduced since a specialist memory clinic was opened at Alexander House.

Coun Jim Clark, chairman of North Yorkshire County Council scrutiny of health committee agreed that improvements were already being made.

He said: “The situation is turning around fast, week by week we are seeing improvements. We have moved forward so much in the last year, and are seeing better diagnosis rates with GPs and the memory clinic, but we must strive for continuous improvements.”

Jill Quinn, chief executive of Dementia Forward said she was surprised and disapointed by the survey results.

She said: “What I truly believe as we have just made some particularly dramatic service changes and they are very positive but perhaps people haven’t felt the difference of that yet.

“It is never going to be straight forward and we all need to do our upmost for the services.”

Mrs Farquharson added: “I am sure good work is being done with diagnosis but it is after diagnosis that is an issue for people. Andrew Jones needs to ring fence this money for care. It is all fine to have diagnosis but where does that take you if there is no support.”