The National Dementia Strategy was published in February 2009. It was eagerly anticipated and has generated a good deal of sustained media interest, widened awareness, and heightened expectation of better help for people with dementia. The three ambitions of the strategy - to raise awareness, facilitate assessment, and improve services - are unquestionably correct; but the assumptions, emphases, and economic predictions are questionable. Encouraging reliance on referral to secondary care centres, and exaggerated claims for the effectiveness of interventions to achieve clinical improvement and cost savings, may lead to disappointment and frustration. The infrastructure of care and treatment of people throughout the course of dementia will be better informed and delivered by a collaborative model which respects the knowledge and commitment contained within families and primary care. Better services will require substantial redirection of resources. © British Journal of General Practice.
- Primary health care
- Public policy