Dramatic variation in dementia diagnosis across Britain

Posted under Blog on January 18th, 2013 by Editorial Team / No Comments


Figures released by the Alzheimer’s Society this week have revealed significant variation in both the rates of diagnosis and the standards of dementia care services across Britain. 

In some areas, as many as seven in ten dementia sufferers are undiagnosed, leaving them to struggle on without medical help.  Overall, it is estimated that less than half of the estimated 800,000 people with dementia in Britain have been given a formal diagnosis.

Key findings include:

  • Less than one in three dementia sufferers have been formally diagnosed in East Riding of Yorkshire, with 75 per cent of sufferers in Belfast receiving a diagnosis.   
  • The average waiting time for an appointment at a memory clinic was found to be over 32 working days.
  • In at least two primary care trusts, patients face a wait of up to nine months before being seen at a memory clinic.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “As with cancer in the past, too many health and care professionals are not aware of the symptoms.  Some even believe that without effective cure there is no point putting people through the anxiety of a memory test – even though drugs can help stave off the condition for several years.”

Action is needed, he said, to show “that dementia, like cancer, is a word and not a sentence”.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, described the low diagnosis rate as “against best clinical practice”. He said: “It is preventing people with dementia from accessing the support, benefits and the medical treatments that can help them live well with the condition.”

Based on the figures, 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.

Tags: Dementia diagnosis, Jeremy Hunt



Browse Categories
(Click to expand)

(Click to expand)


Alzheimer's symptoms Alzheimers cocoa eye test Google Glass Harvard pressure sensor Seattle Stanford vampire mice Vitamin E