Will General Practitioners be adequately prepared to meet the complexities of enhanced dementia screening for people with learning disabilities and Down syndrome: key considerations

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This article provides a timely response in regard to the Department of Health's current initiative to financially reward GPs to prioritise and undertake dementia screening for people with learning disabilities over the age of 50 years and for people with Down syndrome over the age of 40 years. Whilst GPs are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to care for the complex needs of people with learning disabilities, the implementation of dementia screening poses a multitude of challenges. Research has continued to suggest how difficult it is to detect the early and often ambiguous signs of dementia for someone who has pre-existing cognitive impairments and may present with atypical symptomology. And it continues to be a difficult process even for those who specialise within this area. However, GPs who choose to opt into this financially incentivised scheme will now be offering dementia screening. This article outlines the main GP aims within the dementia screening process and the difficulties that may be encountered, with specific focus upon

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