Wide variations in NHS funding for the continuing care of people with dementia have been uncovered in a report by a Labour prospective parliamentary candidate.

The report, titled Lost in the Process, has been put together by former MP Sally Keeble, who gathered information from 162 clinical commissioning groups.

NHS continuing healthcare is a funding package to provide care to those with specific health needs, such as paying for the services of community nurses.

The survey of all CCGs - which also included accounts from families caring for people living with dementia and Department of Health figures - uncovered a lack of funding for advocacy services to provide support for families applying for continuing healthcare support - with only four CCGs saying they funded advocacy.

Ms Keeble said the study highlights the need for a national review of dementia care.

She said:  “People living with dementia should be able to get NHS support for their continuing healthcare needs. Yet many families get lost in the process of applying for funding. They put their own lives on hold to care for their relatives.

“These recommendations set out practical steps to improve things for the people living with dementia and their family carers, and are urgently needed to ease the heartache for these families.”

A total of 800,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, with numbers expected to rise to more than one million by 2021.

The current bill for dementia care totals £23bn with this figure expected to reach £50bn over the same period.