First national AHP dementia lead announced in Wales action plan

CSP Wales has applauded the announcement of a £10 million-a-year national dementia action plan, which includes the development of the first allied health professional (AHP) consultant post in dementia. 


Vaughan Gething, Welsh cabinet secretary for health and social services

The Dementia Action Plan for Wales was launched by Vaughan Gething, the cabinet secretary for health and social services, on 14 February.

‘We are delighted about this commitment,’ said Pip Ford, public affairs and policy manager for Wales.

‘It is something the CSP, along with the royal colleges of speech and language therapy and occupational therapy in Wales, has been calling for. After our persuasion, the government has decided to take our advice.’

The AHP dementia consultant post will advise and support health boards. Ms Ford said it was important to have this appointment at a strategic level: ‘There is a real need to look at and improve services for people with dementia across Wales because access to AHPs is variable.

‘There’s so much more AHPs can do to help manage the condition and retain skills by providing reablement and rehabilitation, but we have needed resources and national engagement.’

In Scotland, occupational therapist Elaine Hunter has been national AHP dementia lead since August 2012. Commenting on this role, Ms Ford said: ‘Elaine has developed a strategy for how AHPs can transform people’s lives and introduced AHP dementia champions in every health board.’

The additional £10 million per year will also fund the development of multidisciplinary teams to support and treat individuals as needed, according to the Welsh government.

Ms Ford described this as another welcome development, along with a new dementia learning and development framework to support training. ‘I would expect AHPs to be looking at how to access this additional funding,’ she added.  

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