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Mental health bill set to double

28th May 2008

A study has claimed that the cost of caring for people in England with mental health disorders is set to double.

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The King’s Fund said that the cost will rise in line with an estimated 61% increase in the number of people predicted to be suffering dementia.

The 2007 figure of £22.5 billion will eventually increase to an estimated £47 billion a year within the next two decades, according to the organisation.

King’s Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said: “The fact that we are living longer is cause for celebration, but it will mean that the health and social care systems will have to cope with a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from dementia.?

The body believes that early detection of mental problems and prompt therapy is crucial and could help keep those affected in work longer.

The King’s Fund also recommends that future governments ensure that funding for such detection and treatment of mental disorders keeps pace with increases.

The Department of Health recognises dementia as a significant health challenge for society and later this year will launch the first national strategy to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families.

The report received widespread support with Andrew McCulloch from the Mental Health Foundation saying the scale of the problem regarding old age and dementia remained a “serious worry? while Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said that the King’s Fund document made a “robust economic case? to invest more broadly in mental health.

 

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