Government’s plan to raise dementia diagnoses gets mixed response

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3183
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

NHS England has set its first national target to improve the rate of diagnosis of dementia, with the aim of ensuring that by 2015 two thirds of people with the condition have a diagnosis. Its latest report, published on 15 May, also says that appropriate post-diagnosis support should be available.1

The diagnosis target will mean increasing the rate of diagnosis from the current national average of around 45%, which the health secretary said was “shockingly low,” to match the 67% achieved in the best performing local area. The result will be an additional 160 000 diagnoses each year over the 2011-12 figure.

The new report charts the progress made so far towards the prime minister’s challenge on dementia set last year to achieve earlier diagnosis of dementia and improve treatment and support for patients and their families by 2015.2

It reports that more than 4000 people a month are now being referred for further investigation …

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