Pressures on society

Alleviating the pressures placed by dementia on society, the NHS and the economy should be a priority for the next government, Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) recommends in its new report on what should be in political party manifestos at the next general election.  With the party conference season in full swing, ARUK is keen to spread the message that a diagnosis is a pre-requisite for any treatment, yet more than a third of over-65s with dementia never get a diagnosis.  Limited availability of diagnostic tests and reluctance among doctors are blamed for the shortfall.  The report – “Tipping Point: The Future of Dementia” – calls for an investment of £16 million in diagnostic infrastructure, equipment and training followed by sustained annual investment of £10 million.  Among other recommendations is that the NICE should consider the cost of informal care and carers’ quality of life when assessing the cost-effectiveness of new dementia treatments on the NHS.