STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands District Council leader Sybil Ralphs MBE has suggested that Leek’s threatened community hospital should become a centre of excellence for dementia care – at the same time as continuing to provide its present general health services.
Around 850,000 people suffer from dementia in the UK and health experts predict the number will rise to over one million by 2025 and double to two million by 2051.
It expected 225,000 people in the UK will develop dementia this year, which equates to a staggering one person every three minutes.
Staffordshire County Council announced ambitious plans in 2012 for a centre of excellence for dementia care at Kniveden Hall in Leek.
It would be part of a £100 million project to tackle the debilitating illness, which affects one in eight people over the age of 80, but nothing has happened since.
Coun Ralphs said: “I want to see part of Leek Hospital developed into such a centre, as dementia is now among the biggest health issues affecting the UK population.
“It would be ideal to use the existing wards for such an important and increasingly vital service.
“People from outside of the Moorlands have shared with me some of the stories of the care, or lack of care, that their friends and relatives who are suffering from dementia have received, and frankly some of their experiences are shocking.
“Quality of care for people suffering from dementia and quality of care for our frail and elderly residents should not be beyond us in the modern day, and that is what I intend to campaign for.
“I will be writing to every GP in the Staffordshire Moorlands to ask for their support for my proposal to use