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MPs launch bid to tackle dementia diagnosis variations

Dementia diagnosis rates can vary by over 20 percentage points between the highest and lowest performing Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in England.

A new report, Raising the Barriers: An Action Plan to Tackle Regional Variation in Dementia Diagnosis in England, adds that people living in rural and deprived areas without strong diagnosis pathways and support to access them will continue to be left to cope alone with dementia symptoms and more likely to experience avoidable deterioration in their condition. They will also be disproportionately less able to access new disease-modifying treatments, which are for the first time on the cusp of becoming available.

Making eight recommendations, the report urges stakeholders in dementia care to be inclusive of all who need a diagnosis of dementia, enabling access across every region of England to the advice, care, support and treatment that timely dementia diagnosis can bring. “For far too many people, this is not the case,” says MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia (APPG), who published the report.

The recommendations of the APPG on dementia are:

  • Each ICS must develop a comprehensive dementia strategy
  • All dementia diagnoses must include an accurate subtype
  • NHS England must continue to review and develop its methods for calculating dementia prevalence and diagnosis rates
  • A national dementia observatory should be created to collate and publish existing data collected across system levels
  • Government intelligence about variation in dementia diagnosis rates must be translated into action
  • A broader range of regional and local communication channels must be used to reach those who may be lost to the system
  • Government should ensure the primary care workforce is adequately planned and resourced to enable dementia diagnosis
  • High-quality post-diagnostic support services for dementia must be available more equitably across England.


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