Saturday, November 2, 2013
Via the BBC:
A police chief is calling for a national database holding the details of people suffering from dementia. Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, said it would help emergency services assist people who are either confused or agitated. "It will enable the caring agencies to give a much better service when we receive a call and decide how to treat it," Sir Peter said. The Alzheimer's Society said it could cause more problems than it solved.
It is estimated there are 800,000 people in the UK who are suffering from some form of dementia, and that figure is set to rise to more than one million over the next decade. Many people with dementia live in the community rather than in care homes. Greater Manchester, one of the largest police forces in England, estimates that the equivalent of 400 of its 7,200 officers each year are deflected from traditional policing roles to deal with people who have mental health issues. Part of that mental health workload is related to people suffering from dementia. "It's a growing issue and sometimes it is because people suffering from dementia go missing, sometimes it's because they have fallen at home and they are confused and we need to gain access on behalf of the ambulance service," Sir Peter told BBC Radio 5 live Investigates. "We have some people with dementia who are ringing us 30 times a day and clearly we have to take every one of those calls seriously," he added.