Health service must act to tackle rise in dementia

July 4, 2007

The steep rise in dementia in England is presenting a “significant and urgent challenge” to health and care services, yet the condition is still given low priority by the government and remains surrounded by misunderstanding and stigma, according to a study by the National Audit Office.

It says that, despite predictions that dementia cases will rise from at least 560,000 at present to more than 750,000 by 2020 and 1.4 million by 2051, too few people are being diagnosed early enough or at all, and early interventions that can help are not being made widely available.

The UK lags behind the rest of Europe, falling into the bottom third of countries providing patients with effective drugs, and taking up to twice as long on average to diagnose the illness as other countries, says the report, published months after a landmark Alzheimer’s Society study put the cost of dementia to the UK at £17bn.

Health service must act to tackle rise in dementia, says watchdog | Health |