A timely dementia diagnosis should be a fundamental right, argues a new “Consensus Statement” signed by a group of 27 dementia experts.
In the statement, the experts call for better funded and evidence-based dementia care pathways to make timely diagnosis a reality and say that health services must commit to returning diagnosis rates to pre-pandemic levels.
The statement was issued shortly before a parliamentary event organised by Alzheimer’s Society for Dementia Action Week (May 15-21), in which politicians were urged to take action on diagnosis rates, which fell back to 63% during the pandemic after a period in which they had increased to 67%.
Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Dame Arlene Philips fronted the event, telling MPs not to let dementia fall down the political agenda.
“Earlier, more accurate diagnosis is essential for people to be potentially eligible for the exciting new treatments coming down the line for early stage Alzheimer’s, and for everyone affected to get the vital help and support they need,” said Dame Arlene.
The Consensus Statement for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, developed through research by Alzheimer’s Society and roundtable discussions with stakeholders and people with dementia, is signed by the Society, the Three Nations Working Group on Dementia, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and leading academics, among others.
Here is a link to the statement www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/2023-05/alzheimers-society-consensus-statement-improving-access-to-diagnosis.pdf