The Alzheimer’s Society has released new data on the rates of dementia diagnosis in the UK. It shows wide variation between areas with, for example, 31.6% of people with dementia being diagnosed in the East Riding of Yorkshire and 75.4% in Islington.
The proportion of people with dementia who have a formal diagnosis is now 46%, compared with 43% in 2011. Alzheimer’s Society estimates that there are 428,000 people in the UK who are living with dementia but haven’t been diagnosed.
In response to these figures, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said:
“The small improvement in the overall rate of dementia diagnosis is good news, but the extreme variation we see across the country is unacceptable.
“It’s time for the worst performing local areas to wake up to the dementia time bomb we are all facing. While many areas do excellent work, the worst is diagnosing just one third of people with dementia – delaying and preventing them from accessing vital treatment and causing unnecessary suffering.
“I have committed to making this a year of dementia awareness; improving both diagnosis and understanding of the condition are integral if we are to begin making a difference to people’s lives. As part of my commitment, I will shortly be visiting every region to meet with the people responsible in the health and care system to encourage them to make a difference.
“We have already asked local areas to set ambitious targets for improved dementia diagnosis over the next 2 years and I hope those with the worse performance can learn from the best and help make England one of the best places in Europe for dementia care.”
The Alzheimer’s Society has produced an interactive map highlighting the number of people who have a diagnosis of dementia in different Primary Care Trusts in the UK.
Find out more about the diagnosis data on the Alzheimer’s Society site.
Find out about the Dementia Challenge.