MP Champions Improved Dementia Care for North East Hertfordshire

In advance of World Alzheimer’s Day on the 21st of September, North East Herts MP Oliver Heald is calling on local health services to help improve standards of care in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by following the latest advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on drug treatment.1

Earlier this month Oliver met with Professor Peter Passmore, one of the UK’s foremost consultants on dementia, at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the increasing numbers of people affected by AD in North East Herts and how the current treatment options recommended by NICE may help improve patient care.

Commenting, Oliver Heald said, “Alzheimer’s disease has a devastating effect on people’s lives – patients, carers and their families. There are now recommended treatments available that will benefit their condition and it is essential that the local health trusts work with patients to ensure they have the best treatment available. I was delighted to meet with Professor Passmore to discuss the issue in more detail and other local MPs who recognise the importance of better Alzheimer’s care.”

The Parliamentary event was an opportunity for Professor Passmore to discuss with MPs the work he does with dementia sufferers and the challenges he faces, including reducing the use of antipsychotics, in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

In November 2009 Professor Banerjee published a report on the use of antipsychotics in dementia2. In September last year the Department of Health called on doctors to reduce the inappropriate use of antipsychotics in people with dementia,3 as currently only 1 in 5 patients derive benefit from their use.2

Professor Passmore said: “The Parliamentary meeting was a fantastic opportunity to speak with committed local MPs like Oliver to discuss the local issues around dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in North East Herts. I hope that other Parliamentarians who were unable to attend the meetings will take similar effective action to improve care in their region.”

The photograph shows left to right, Chris Hill, an Alzheimer’s Disease Carer, Oliver Heald MP and Professor Peter Passmore, one of the UK’s leading dementia experts.




  1. NICE. Donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (review) TA217. March 2011.
  1. The use of antipsychotic medicine for people with dementia; time for action . A report for the Minister of State for Care Services by Professor Sube Banerjee. Available at:   Accessed August 2011
  2. Quality outcomes for people with dementia: building on the work of the National Dementia Strategy . Department of Health, September 2010. Available at: Accessed August 2011