Many people suffering with dementia aren't being formally diagnosed
- 29 Nov
Government research has found that less than half of people suffering with dementia in England are being formally diagnosed with the condition.
The findings have come from a government report which shows wide variations in standards of dementia care with three quarters of patients in the best arrears receiving a formal diagnosis but only a third in the worst areas are.
An interactive online map is publishing the figures which Jeremy Hunt said would help raise standards by allowing patients to see which parts of the county were guilty of "poor performance", reports the Guardian.
The map will highlight diagnosis rates, referral rates and the frequency of anti-psychotic drug prescription for the 6700,000 who have dementia.
Mr Hunt is said to be launching a strategy to encourage people to discuss diseases such as Alzheimer's more openly. "We must come together as a society to get better at fighting dementia," he said.
"In too many parts of the country, people think there is no point in getting it diagnosed because they think nothing is going to happen, and sadly, in some parts of the country, that is true. We need to ensure that when someone is diagnosed, the system swings into action and gets people the support they need. There is a demographic time bomb but we are not giving people the care we should be giving them." Hunt said to the Daily Mail.
Estimations from the World Health Organisation say that the number of people living with dementia worldwide could treble to 115.4 million by 2050 due to ageing populations. By the end of 2020 the number in the UK alone could pass the 1 million mark.
The shadow minister for care and older people, Liz Kendall, said dementia care was getting worse. She said: "If David Cameron was serious about improving the quality of dementia care, he would not have cut council budgets for older people's social care to the bone. And if Jeremy Hunt was serious about improving transparency, he would be publishing how many 15-minute home visits there are in each area, and people with dementia have unnecessarily ended up in hospital or having to go into a care home because they can't get the help they need to stay living in their own homes."
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