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Figures show increase in dementia diagnosis

Over 400,000 people in the UK are living with dementia without knowing it, figures released by the Alzheimer’s Society suggest.

There has been a 3% increase in the number of people diagnosed with dementia. However, some 428,000 people have not been formally diagnosed with the condition.

The statistics also show a wide variety of diagnosis rates, with 31.6% of dementia sufferers in East Riding of Yorkshire being correctly diagnosed compared with 75.5% in Belfast.

Alzheimer’s Society surveyed a number of memory clinics in the UK examine how well people with dementia are being assessed and treated, with two-thirds of all PCTs responding. Evidence shows that 27 memory services are accredited - equating to 11% of all clinics in the UK.

The average waiting time for an appointment is 32.5 working days, while some memory clinics reported longer waiting times of up to nine months. The Memory Service National Accreditation Programme has a recommendation of four to six weeks’ waiting time.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It’s disgraceful that almost half of all people with dementia are not receiving a diagnosis, and disappointing to see such a disparity in diagnosis rates in different regions of the UK.

“This goes against best clinical practice and is preventing people with dementia from accessing the support, benefits and the medical treatments that can help them live well with the condition.”

The Alzheimer’s Society has produced an interactive map which highlights the number of people who have a diagnosis of dementia in different primary care trusts in the UK.

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the report “makes for disappointing reading” and should be a “wake-up call” for everyone in healthcare.

He said: “We believe that specialist nurses can help screen for dementia and promote greater coordination in care, but they need to be supported by proper resources and a healthcare workforce which is properly trained to recognise and care for dementia.” 

Readers' comments (7)

  • tinkerbell

    'Over 400,000 people in the UK are living with dementia without knowing it'

    what an opening line.

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  • could be opening up yet another can of worms!

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  • tinkerbell

    we could all be living with something we know nothing about. Until we find a cure though what's the point in living in a constant state of fear? Once diagnosed early without a cure, what's worse? Rounds of endless assessments and at some point removal of your driving license and bundled into an elderly people farm because you are a danger to society and yourself.

    Pretty grim prognosis.

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  • following tinkerbell's comment above

    ...and as if that is not enough, all results will go onto your electronic records to be spread around the whole of the NHS, home, GP surgeries, insurance companies, DVLA, drug companies, social services and local councils, etc. (for further details ask Mr. Hunt). If you refuse any of these tests you will be labelled as 'non-compliant' or perhaps 'confused' so one way or another there will be an entry and discriminatory label on your notes which you will have no power to alter or remove. Why are doctors and health care staff always right and the patient/client has no say in what concerns them alone?

    there is little hope left for those over 65. you might just as well put up your hands and surrender and do whatever you are told which means you will effectively become a guinea pig, a rattling mobile pharmacy and a pin cushion exposed to any treatment the government/medical professions wish to foist on you and often only to discover a short time later they are harmful to your health!

    Even if, like me you never go anywhere near medical services unless you find yourself in a position of absolute necessity, there is bound to be something on notes about this in your disfavour as well!

    Nurses please be very cautious what you write on patients' notes or you risk labelling and harming people for life!

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  • tinkerbell

    because allegedly this unelected government is meant to represent 'US'.

    Let's all have a 'best interests' meeting and see how stitched up we'll be then by those is allegedley represent what's best for 'US'.

    I can see no evidence from these reforms that we are being 'represented' for what we want. Their behaviour speaks louder than words.

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  • tinkerbell

    i recall an elderly man fighting his case to be allowed home with his physical disability and a panel who said to him

    'but it is very hard for us to see you struggling this way'

    to which he replied

    'i can assure you it is much harder for me to be this way than it is for you to see me this way and i want to go home'.

    Spot on mate and all power to you. He was allowed to go home. But what about the less articulate.

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  • Too many assessments. Find out something you've got and then find that they is no help. I think the NHS is probably in cahoots with the insurance companies with their 'get-out' clauses. There is a huge hidden agenda going on, I am so sceptical and it gets worse with age!! Are increases in the fewer insurance payouts and big pharma controlling us?? We are brainwashed, in all walks of life, not just health. The stimulus for all this intervention, the manipulation of the public. By the way, I haven't been approached to have a dementia test yet!! No comments please!

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