In my ‘yuletide blog’, I argue briefly that we’re in a good place as regards the English dementia policy.
What I don’t want to happen is ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’. Patients have a pivotal rôle to play in service provision improvement and in research. They are not merely ‘data harvesters’.
Likewise, the good intention behind risk factors and prevention shouldn’t be drowned out by an aggressive push to private insurance systems. The National Health Service, paid for general taxation, involves us sharing risk in an equitable way.
This means that we’re not ultimately punished by being borne with higher risk for certain conditions, such as some of the dementias which run in the family. Likewise, identifying dementia at an earlier stage might help to identify more realistic and effective pharmacological treatments, with more research.
In a way, we are currently in the optimal position, so long as certain stakeholders don’t overplay their hand.