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Shop staff to be trained in recognising dementia

Shop staff to be trained in recognising dementia
5th March 2014

A number of high street chains have signed up to a new initiative that aims to help staff spot the signs of dementia.

In total, more than 190,000 individuals will be trained to help people with the condition.

Argos, Homebase, Marks & Spencer, Lloyds Pharmacy and Lloyds Bank will all require their staff to undergo sessions designed to make them "dementia friends".

Jeremy Hunt, health secretary of the UK, stated that these new plans would help the country become the world leader in fighting the disease.

He said: "[This] is about government, clinicians, business, society and investors coming together to raise our game on every front - from speedy diagnosis to compassionate care and from help on our high streets to the quest for a cure."

Around £90 million is set to be invested by the NHS into appropriately diagnosing people with dementia by March 2015.

This fund will particularly target areas where it can take up to 25 weeks for a diagnosis to be fully carried out.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "[This] is a positive step forward to increasing diagnosis rates and ensuring that no matter where you live you will receive a timely assessment."

Around 800,000 people in the UK currently have dementia and that figure is expected to soar to over 1.7 million by 2051.

The Alzhemier's Society also state that a third of individuals over the age of 65 will develop the condition at some point, two thirds of whom are women.

A summit between the G8 was held at the end of 2013 to discuss the condition, with David Cameron hiring a world dementia envoy and calling for international governments to urgently strive towards finding a cure.

However, Labour claims that the way forward is to tackle the problems with care that have been a result of the coalition government.

Liz Kendall, the shadow minister for care and older people, pointed to the £2.7 billion in cuts to council care budgets as a reason people are struggling.