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'Significant progress' in tackling dementia, says Simon Hamilton

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 24/06/2015

Simon Hamilton
Simon Hamilton

Health Minister Simon Hamilton has spoken of "significant progress" being made in tackling the growing cases of dementia across Northern Ireland.

The number of people suffering from the condition in Northern Ireland is set to rise to 60,000 by 2051.

East Belfast has the highest number of dementia sufferers in Northern Ireland, with 1,289 families affected.

In a response to an Assembly question, Mr Hamilton said he was pushing forward with the £6.25m Developing Social Change Dementia initiative started in 2014.

This has included the development of memory clinics across the five Health and Social Care Trusts.

East Belfast MLA Robin Newton welcomed the minister's commitment.

"Helping families and carers cope, helping sufferers live within the community and ensuring the earliest possible diagnosis is critical in the provision of information and support to inform decisions around care, support and treatment," he said.

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