New NHS statistics highlighting the number of people diagnosed with dementia do not accurately reflect the real number of people with the condition, according to Alzheimer’s Society.
Figures released by the NHS (Quality and Outcomes Framework, QOF) show that almost 249,463 in England have been formally diagnosed with dementia which is a far cry from the true figure of 575,000 who have the condition.
Andrew Chidgey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer's Society, says "The shockingly low diagnosis rates in England highlight that people are not visiting their GPs and even if they do, diagnoses are not being made. It is clear that there is a shortfall and we must increase understanding of dementia amongst the public and GPs to ensure a swift and timely diagnosis."
Alzheimer's Society says there are currently 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK, yet only a third of them have had a diagnosis. GPs are an important part of the diagnosis process and the low number of diagnoses is in part due to the lack of training in dementia available to GPs. Research also shows that many people concerned about memory problems put off going to see their GP