Justice written question – answered on 21st November 2012.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to support the Prime Minister's dementia challenge and the work of each of the challenge groups; what resources he has committed and timescales he has set for this work; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

For driving improvements in health and care—July's White Paper on social care "Caring for our future: reforming care and support" sets out the Government's aim to clarify the responsibility for providing social care to prisoners. My officials are working with the Department of Health to develop, with stakeholders, a new framework for provision of care in prisons. This will include prisoners with dementia. For offenders in the community, service entitlements for health and social care provision are in place as part of mainstream services. Probation staff are able to support offenders to access these services.

On creating dementia friendly communities that understand how to help—The Ministry of Justice recently consulted on a range of measures aiming to make the Office of the Public Guardian's (OPG) services as simple, speedy and accessible as possible. This includes making Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney, which are an important part of planning ahead for any future loss of mental capacity, and supervision of court-appointed deputies. The OPG is also contributing to the efforts of the financial services industry to make the sector more dementia friendly, focusing on enabling high street bank and building society staff to recognise and understand Enduring and Lasting Powers of Attorney and court-appointed deputies. In prisons, work is already under way to improve staff awareness and capacity. NOMS has published specific guidance to staff on dementia, and is working to identify examples of good practice.

For better research—A number of UK prisons are taking part in independent international research which is under way to identify treatment challenges and prisoners with dementia.

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