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Improving dementia care in prisons

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Improving dementia care is a national priority. There are estimated to be 800,000 people with dementia in the UK and the disease costs the economy £23 billion a year. By 2040, the number of people affected by dementia is expected to double, while costs look set to treble.

In a bid to defuse this ticking time bomb, ministers are working to improve rates of diagnosis; develop 'dementia-friendly' hospitals and communities; improve dementia training for health care staff; and increase scientific knowledge of the disease in order to make new treatments possible.

A total of £50 million in funding has been set aside to adapt hospital and wards and care homes for people with dementia. However, the needs of an ageing prison population have apparently been 'largely overlooked'.

Demographic shift in prisons

This is the conclusion of a report published last month by the Mental Health Foundation which warns that prisons are responsible for a rapidly-growing population of older people, many of whom have dementia.

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