News story

Paul Burstow calls for improvement in the early diagnosis rates of dementia

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, has said that regional variation in the diagnosis rates of dementia must improve.

Speaking at the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia’s report, ‘Unlocking Diagnosis: The key to improving the lives of people with dementia’, he agreed with the report’s findings on the importance of early and accurate diagnosis and set out plans to develop a new tool to help improve dementia services.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said:

While there is no cure for dementia, we know that early diagnosis and early intervention can help people take control of their condition and plan for the future.

Some areas are doing fantastic work but there is still too much regional variation. That is why we are driving forward measures to improve the quality of memory services, including work to increase the number of accredited memory services and work to help local commissioners map the need in their area.

We have set out our goal of making this country a world leader in dementia. There is much to do to move further and faster, but with the number of memory services increasing along with local investment, we are heading in the right direction.

The new tool will help clinical commissioning groups calculate the prevalence of dementia within their local area. The tool will also help them to map the demand for, and supply of, appropriate dementia services, and to create local trajectories for increased diagnosis.

Improving diagnosis rates is a key part of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge.

A new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the early signs and symptoms of dementia, and encouraging people to see their GP at an early stage, is planned for 2012-2013.

In this audio clip, Paul Burstow talks about the importance of early diagnosis of dementia following the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia’s report, ‘Unlocking Diagnosis: The key to improving the lives of people with dementia’.

Listen to ‘Care Services Minister Paul Burstow on the early diagnosis of dementia’ on Audioboo