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'Bonus' for doctors spotting dementia

24 October 2014 12:09

Doctors could be paid a bonus for spotting cases of dementia under new plans

Doctors could be paid a bonus for spotting cases of dementia under new plans

GPs could be paid a bonus of £55 to diagnose dementia, NHS England has confirmed.

The plan is part of a wider scheme for doctors to diagnose patients with a condition. The money would be paid for every patient given a diagnosis over a six-month period.

However, the plan was slammed by the Patients Association, which branded it "a step too far" and "a distortion of good medical practice".

As Dr Martin McShane, national director for long-term conditions at NHS England, noted, dementia can be devastating for people and their relatives, causing turmoil in everyday activities. He said more needed to be done to help people with the condition to access to tailored care.

Going on holiday is often seen as an opportunity for both dementia sufferers and those who care for them to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Specialist travel insurance for people with dementia can be arranged.

It is thought that half of all people with dementia in the country are going undiagnosed. Although NHS England has pledged to raise this total, it has acknowledged slower progress towards this target than expected.

The gap is thought to be around 12 per practice - up to 90,000 - and £5 million has been set out to boost existing work to identify people with the condition.

Symptoms of dementia

Earlier this year dementia was described as a healthcare 'timebomb' by Prime Minister David Cameron. The PM unveiled a £60m funding package, alongside a plan to develop a network of 'dementia friends' to help spot signs of the disease.

If you're worried about a loved one and dementia, here are some of the symptoms of the disease:

Short-term memory problems : i.e. recalling recent events such as names and routes

Organisation : struggling to cope with planning and organising events or jobs

Speaking : difficulty conveying their point when talking, finding the right words etc

Money : struggling to work out the right amounts of money when paying for items in a shop

Official figures show that by 2015 there will be 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.