Dementia: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st June 2022.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the barriers to timely dementia diagnosis; what estimate he has made of the size of the backlog in dementia diagnosis through Memory Assessment Services; what steps he is taking to reduce that backlog; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

In April 2022, the dementia diagnosis rate was 61.8%. The pandemic has affected the provision of memory assessment services and the number of general practitioner (GP) referrals to those services. No specific estimate of the backlog has been made. However, since March 2020 there has been a 5.6% reduction in the number of people over the age of 65 years old on the dementia register, which records a dementia diagnosis.

In 2021/22, we allocated £17 million to address waiting times and increase the number of diagnoses. In 2022/23, NHS England will provide funding to support GPs in some areas in England to pilot approaches to increase the diagnosis rate and provide access to post-diagnosis support. We will set out plans for dementia in England for the next 10 years later this year, which will include a focus on diagnosis.

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