My heart missed a beat when I read this mention of a £50m boost for dementia care in Bath, with at last a project that could change the lives of people with dementia and their families. Not wanting to shout too loudly, I merely murmured to myself ‘about time too’. And then I read the dreaded words Private Finance Initiative (PFI).
Judging by past PFI schemes, this latest will no doubt end up costing double or treble, for a lesser service. And then it may collapse around itself, resulting in a massive waste of money that could be put to genuinely good use to support people with dementia and their families. If you don’t believe me, then trust Allyson Pollock and others who have all evidenced the damage that PFI schemes can do.
I’m not too keen on the timescale mentioned, because it will obviously be far too late for the many thousands of people who are in despair at present about the state of dementia care in the UK. But, hey, let’s be optimistic and hope that the West Country may lead the way and show the world that we really do care in the UK about dementia. And that a PFI scheme can really work – but don’t hold your breath.