By Ben Spencer and Rosie Taylor for the Daily Mail
Published: 00:13 BST, 1 April 2019 | Updated: 00:14 BST, 1 April 2019
The NHS is failing dementia patients across huge swathes of Britain, official figures reveal.
Nearly half of England’s health boards offer poor standards of care, according to Ofsted-style scores.
The figures suggest hundreds of thousands of people are not even diagnosed. And many who do get a diagnosis have to wait for more than a year between their care assessments.
An estimated 850,000 people in the UK have dementia but the number is predicted to soar to two million by 2050.
Experts last night said that Government promises to transform care have been ‘kicked into the long grass’ after a brief ‘flirtation’ with the problem.
Others warned that in some areas NHS officials view dementia care as little more than a ‘tick-box exercise’.
A Mail analysis of the data shows that 47 per cent of NHS England’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ for dementia care last year.
On average, 30 per cent of patients with dementia in each area had not been officially diagnosed. This leaves them in the dark about why they are confused or suffering from memory problems, and they could be missing out on treatments.
NHS guidelines say that everyone diagnosed with dementia should have a face-to-face care review at least once a year, but the figures show that an average 22 per cent are seen less often.
Professor Clive Ballard, a dementia specialist at the University of Exeter, said: ‘In 2012 David Cameron made a commitment to tackling dementia. The current figures show no subsequent progress – it feels very much like these pledges have been kicked into the long grass.
Tracey Lane, 52, was told by doctors for four years there was nothing wrong with her
When Tracey Lane