Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has accused the government of a “worrying lack of focus and urgency” in dealing with the drop in dementia diagnosis rates resulting from the pandemic. Diagnosis rates – now hovering around 62% – are at a five year low, said ARUK, and the government’s target of 67% had not been met since before Covid-19 struck. Dr Susan Mitchell, ARUK’s head of policy, said government plans to reduce care backlogs with new diagnostic centres and an elective recovery taskforce were welcome, but called on health secretary Steve Barclay to expedite his promised 10-year plan for dementia. “This must be backed by targeted investment in NHS diagnostics, to enable greater access and availability of brain scanning equipment, along with the rapid development of diagnostic blood tests that can help provide an early and more accurate diagnosis. People living with dementia can’t be left in the dark any longer,” she added.