Department of Health written question – answered on 5th January 2015.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to (a) improve the diagnosis rate of dementia, (b) shorten the waiting time between sufferers seeing their GPs and receiving a diagnosis and (c) ensure that sufferers receive continuing help with their condition; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

On 26 March 2012, the Prime Minister launched his Challenge on Dementia. The Challenge sets the commitment to increase diagnosis rates, raise awareness and understanding and double funding for research for dementia by 2015.

As part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia via the government’s mandate to NHS England, we have set the first ever national ambition to improve dementia diagnosis rates and post-diagnosis support. By March 2015, our aim is that two-thirds of people with dementia should have a diagnosis, with appropriate post-diagnosis support.

In February 2014, my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced his ambition that anyone with suspected dementia should be seen by a memory service within six weeks, and NHS England identified that there was already £90 million in the system to support this. This ambition also highlighted the importance of high quality post-diagnosis support, including seamless care, with health and social care professionals working together to provide the best care and support.

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