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Manchester researcher appointed new ‘Dementia Tsar’

23 Jan 2010

Professor Alistair Burns at The University of Manchester has been appointed as the new National Clinical Director for Dementia, the Department of Health has announced.

Professor Burns will promote better care of people with dementia within the NHS and social care communities and provide leadership for the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy. He is currently the University’s Professor of Old Age Psychiatry within the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre.

Professor Burns developed the South Manchester Memory Clinic, which provides specialist assessment and diagnosis for people with memory problems. He is also an instrumental part of the Old Age Psychiatry General Hospital liaison service and helped establish a Dementia Drug Treatment clinic.

Professor Burns said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the post of National Clinical Director for Dementia.  In the past few years, there has been a great deal of public interest in dementia and several influential initiatives, in particular the National Dementia Strategy. The challenge, now, is to build on this to make a real positive difference to people with dementia, their families and carers. I very much look forward to working with colleagues to realise this ambition.”

Care Services Minister Phil Hope added: “Alistair’s experience of dementia services gives him a unique understanding of what works for people with the condition and their carers. I am confident that he will help drive up standards of care across the country and look forward to working with him to build the best possible services for people with dementia.”

Professor Burns will work closely with the new National Clinical Director for Older People, Professor David Oliver, also announced today, to ensure strong leadership in shaping the future of services for an ageing population.


Notes for editors

Professor Alistair Burns took up post as Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at The University of Manchester in 1992 and is Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and Deputy Dean at The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. Professor Burns also has an international reputation in research with nearly 300 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and 25 books.

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth
Media Relations
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383
Mob: 07717 881563