This toolkit written by Dr Elizabeth Barrett is intended as an educational resource for use by GPs and practice nurses to expand their knowledge and confidence.
Download Dementia revealed: what primary care needs to know (2nd edition, 2014)
This supercedes the first edition Dementia – the view from primary care published in 2013.
It should be read in conjunction with Dementia diagnosis and management – a resource pack published by NHS England that aims to support GPs to identify and appropriately manage dementia patients in the primary care environment.
GPs are critically placed to take a greater role in assessing and treating dementia. Developing a clinical feel for cognitive problems is going to become integral to providing high quality care to elderly patients and their families.
Most patients who develop dementia have been known to their GPs for years. Dementia rarely travels alone: it travels with multiple and common co-morbidities with which GPs are very familiar.
This toolkit does not comprise an instruction for primary care to take over everything; it is hardly likely to make psychiatrists redundant for there is more than enough work for everyone. It is aimed at assessment and treatment and is therefore clinically orientated.
Voluntary services and social services are still central. They have been the experts in dementia and its care long before dementia rose up the health agenda. People with dementia, and their families, benefit from advice, knowledge, stimulation, and, above all, companionship. It can be a lonely road, otherwise.