Managers have welcomed long awaited government plans to transform dementia services but want more details on how they will be staffed and assessed.

The national dementia strategy, published this week after a three-month delay, recommends better training for GPs to diagnose dementia, memory clinics and a senior clinician in every hospital to lead on dementia issues.

It will be backed by£150m over the first two years, after which further funding decisions will be made. Commissioners will be expected to pay for most of the proposals out of existing budgets.

Mental Health Network director Steve Shrubb said the plans to improve early diagnosis represented a "significant workforce challenge".

Sophisticated team

He said: "It's quite difficult to identify dementia early on and you need a sophisticated team of physicians and psychiatrists, and access to scanning equipment."

Care services minister Phil Hope told HSJ it would be up to primary care trusts to decide on the skill mix and training needed to fulfil his pledge for a "memory clinic in every town".

The strategy sets PCTs 17 "key objectives" and will assess them using a measure that is still being developed.

PCT Network director David Stout said he was disappointed the document did not include this indicator.

See Improving NHS dementia care