As part of Dementia Action Week 2023 (15-21 May), Craig Whittaker MP attended a Parliamentary reception hosted by Alzheimer’s Society where he found out that the dementia diagnosis rate in Calder Valley is 63.0%.
Dementia diagnosis rates vary considerably across the country from just 42% in South Hams to 82.9% in Stoke-on-Trent. The national ambition for dementia diagnosis is that two-thirds of people with dementia should have a formal diagnosis.
To highlight regional variations, Alzheimer’s Society have developed a traffic light system showing each Local Authority’s dementia diagnosis status. Calder Valley is Amber. This means it is not currently meeting the national target that two-thirds of people living with dementia should have a formal diagnosis.
The MP for Calder Valley has lent his support to the charity’s Dementia Action Week campaign on the importance of dementia diagnosis. The tagline “It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill” encourages people worried about their own or a loved one’s memory, to seek support in getting a diagnosis using a ‘symptoms checklist’. This is available on Alzheimer’s Society’s online hub at www.alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss.
Craig Whittaker MP said:
“There are 2536 people in Calder Valley living with dementia, but just 1597 have a diagnosis. Everyone living with dementia deserves an accurate, timely, and high-quality dementia diagnosis so they can access vital care and support, and plan for their future.”
James White, Head of National Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“We thank Craig Whittaker MP for meeting with us, and showing his support this Dementia Action Week.
“The dementia diagnosis rate fell below the national ambition during the pandemic, and it has remained stagnant around 62% ever since. More than 30,000 people have missed out on a diagnosis, and therefore access to help and support, during this period.
“We believe it’s better to know – 9 in 10 people told us they benefitted from getting a diagnosis as it meant they could access treatment and advice and plan for the future.
“Government needs to take urgent action to level up the diagnosis rate across the country, and ensure that people with dementia are not slipping through the net.”
For support and information about dementia visit alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss or call Alzheimer’s Society on 0333 150 3456.