Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Manchester Withington, has called for action to increase the number of people with dementia who receive an accurate and timely diagnosis across England. Attending a parliamentary event in the House of Commons earlier this month, Jeff highlighted the importance of prompt diagnosis to enable people with dementia and their carers to receive the support they need.
Organised for the Front of Mind campaign, a joint initiative between Roche UK and tide (together in dementia everyday), the event saw MPs discuss findings of a new report, ‘Levelling up dementia diagnosis’, which found that 43% of people with dementia remain undiagnosed. The report by Future Health, which was commissioned and funded by Roche in partnership with York Health Economics Consortium, also found that diagnosis rates vary markedly across the country from 83% to 47%, while people in rural areas and those from ethnic minorities face particular barriers to accessing services they need.
“Without a confirmed, accurate diagnosis of dementia, people will struggle to access medical and social interventions that could ease their symptoms and support their unpaid carers. It is vital that we tackle the unfair variations across the country in the diagnosis pathway.”
During the event, Jeff explored the impact of dementia in Manchester Withington through an interactive data mapping dashboard. He also spoke to carers and trained policy influencers from tide, before taking the Front of Mind pledge.
Sam Bolam, Chief Executive of tide added:
“It’s really encouraging to see MPs come together to discuss the impact of underdiagnosis on people with dementia. Too often, receiving dementia support is a postcode lottery, and we want to ensure everybody affected by dementia can access vital services – regardless of where they live.”