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Dementia patients need the 'real deal'

University of Nottingham statement regarding the G8 Dementia Summit:

We need to use every means at our disposal to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers, says Tom Dening, Professor of Dementia Research at The University of Nottingham.

Professor Dening heads a research group within the Institute of Mental Health at the University dedicated to high quality, useful research looking at how people with dementia spend their time and what helps them to get quality from life. He said: "We will work hard to implement things that work, and we will use our expertise to raise awareness in the public discourse about ageing and dementia."

Just two days before the G8 Dementia Summit Professor Dening said: "We should not be too distracted by shadowy promises of future wonder drugs. They are not likely to have a big impact in the lifetimes of people who have dementia now. What is less glamorous but much more likely to be of genuine benefit to the population is maintaining good health, mental and physical activity and participation in normal social and community activities including creativity.

"We could provide a more rational and effective service for patients with dementia and their families by looking at the balance in resources between diagnosis and investigation on one hand and post diagnostic support on the other. We should offer a proper 'deal' to people with dementia akin to the sense you have in maternity services that you are getting something really worthwhile rather than being fobbed off. We fall a long way short at present."

The University's new Centre for Dementia at the Institute of Mental Health has recently been established and is due to officially launch in early 2014. The centre's activities include:

• A Master's module in Dementia and Ageing starting next semester.
Impact campaign donations from private benefactors enabling the University to set up and run a free website with dementia resources - idea.nottingham.ac.uk
• A national tour of Inside Out of Mind, a play about dementia care by Tanya Myers, is planned for early 2015. This was premiered in Nottingham last June to wide acclaim and was seen by 2,000 people including 1,250 NHS personnel.
• The University is affiliated to Nottinghamshire Dementia Action Alliance. A student-led project provides volunteer visitors to people with memory problems in hospital, from amongst the undergraduate medical students.