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'Dementia diagnosis rates some of worst in the UK'.

WALES has some of the worst rates of diagnosis for dementia in the UK, a leading charity has warned.

Research by the Alzheimer's Society has revealed that more than half of people living with dementia in Wales have not received a formal diagnosis The report found of 43% of people who have received a diagnosis, many have not had adequate information and support needed to live well with dementia.

Their report, called Diagnose or Disempower? states no health board in Wales has diagnosis rates above 50% - and the lowest is 37.2%.

The charity says Wales has some of the worst rates in the UK for diagnosis, with only a 0.6% improvement made in the past 12 months.

The report also identifies a number of barriers to receiving a diagnosis of dementia in Wales, including low public awareness, fear and stigma and an under-resourcing of socalled "memory services".

Sue Phelps, director of Alzheimer's Society in Wales, said: "There are 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales, less than half have a formal diagnosis.

"It is not only alarming that diagnosis figures are so low in Wales, but also disempowers people with dementia and their families when making decisions about their care.

"Receiving a diagnosis of dementia empowers people to make these decisions and choices. It opens the door to accessing services."

The charity's report shows "substantial variation" in the quality of dementia services received by patients in different health boards.

Nearly 10% of people reported receiving no support at all in the first year after they received their diagnosis.

The report has called on health boards to set targets to improve diagnosis rates by a minimum of 5% per year until they achieve a diagnosis rate of 75%.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 15, 2015
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