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Psychiatry professor appointed director of dementia care

Psychiatry Professor Alistair Burns has been appointed to oversee how dementia is dealt with in England. He will develop and deliver a strategy launched one year ago by then health secretary Alan Johnson.

The aim is to promote better care of people with dementia within the NHS and social care communities in England. The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to rise to one million within a decade due to an ageing population. Approximately a third of people over 65 die with a form of dementia and about 15,000 people under the age of 65.

Professor Burns developed the South Manchester Memory Clinic, which provides specialist assessment and diagnosis for people with memory problems, and also helped establish a drug treatment clinic.

Plans for the national strategy include improving early diagnosis and better patient family and carer support.

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