This has been an especially difficult and stressful time for families caring for loved ones with dementia, and particularly those who have needed to take on extra responsibilities. I know that the Government is working closely with local authorities and the care sector to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia, and to identify what additional actions may be required to ensure safety, and access to the right support and care.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has also been commissioned to investigate how to manage or mitigate the impact of the pandemic on people with dementia and their carers living in the community. The research has considered the best ways to support people to stay well during the outbreak, including help to manage the psychological and social impacts of social distancing, self-isolation, and lockdown, and has produced summary leaflets with key messages for people living with dementia and their carers.
You are correct to point out that this pandemic has also underlined the need for reform of our social care sector. I was proud to stand on a manifesto that committed to building a sustainably funded social care system, backed by the same cross-party consensus we have on the NHS. The Government is currently working to develop its plan for reforming the system, and I look forward to its publication.
We should do everything we can to offer support to people with long term health conditions, as well as those who support them, throughout this pandemic, and I will certainly continue to monitor this issue closely.