The Dementia Diagnosis Calamity 

Current issues have arisen regarding the processes in place to diagnose dementia and also the plans for the future. The Health secretary in the UK recently published a report at the end of November, and brought to light some of the failings by the NHS to diagnose patients with dementia. Almost half the number of people living with dementia, have been failed in terms of not receiving a formal diagnosis. Furthermore in cases where people had been diagnosed, medical notes were sometimes not accounted for, leaving some people without the vital care and support they need.

A Dementia map of England has shown that overall fewer then 4 out of 10 people have their condition recognised by the NHS. The report has led to a stark revaluation of the processes currently in place by the NHS when it comes to providing a diagnosis. Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for health has also underlined that there is too much variation between different areas of the UK and their diagnosis rates.

The Alzheimer’s Society has recently set up a Dementia Prevalence Calendar that can look at the average dementia gap at a local level, and enables General Practices to establish a target by which to work towards. Sheffield’s Dementia gap is currently 33% of the currently forecasted cases of dementia in the local area, with a 66% diagnosis rate. In 2012 this diagnosis rate was the 12th highest in the whole of the UK (out of 178) which is a positive report; however the diagnosis rate has remained unchanged when compared with previous years, suggesting that not enough has been done to reduce the dementia gap.

Furthermore the 40th G8 summit is set to go ahead in Russia on the 4th of June, and for the first time ever will focus its attention on the Global issue of Dementia. David Cameroon has reaffirmed that the conference is an opportunity to create and develop a global plan for tackling Dementia which has been reported to cost the world $604 billion. "In the 1960s people were too scared to talk about cancer, and In the 1980s the same happened with HIV/Aids. After a long and painful journey, we are now much more open about both and better able to tackle them; We now need to do the same with dementia" , This was a written statement In the Telegraph made by Jeremy Hunt which overall shows an urgency to change our attitudes and face the growing issue of Dementia.

The dimentia diagnosis gap
The dimentia diagnosis gap

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home