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Report marks progress in first year of Dementia Challenge

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

The Dementia Challenge champion groups have produced a report on their progress since the challenge was launched in March 2012.

The Dementia Challenge report describes achievements in the 3 main areas of the challenge: driving improvements in health and care, creating dementia friendly communities and better research.

The report also identifies shared themes across the work of the 3 champion groups, reflects on what they have learnt so far, and sets out how they will work together to sustain and accelerate progress.

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has also announced that NHS England has set the first-ever national ambition to improve dementia diagnosis rates. The plans aim to see two-thirds of people with dementia identified and given appropriate support by 2015, an increase from 39% in 2010 and the current average of about 45%.

Jeremy Hunt said:

For too long diagnosis rates have been shockingly low, leaving too many people living in the dark trying to cope with this terrible condition undiagnosed, unable to get the help they need and deserve.

Dementia is a serious and growing problem so this ambitious drive to see a clear majority of people identified and supported is a major step forward.

I am pleased that NHS England has set a clear direction and sent a message to the NHS that we must do more. I fully support every GP, doctor and health worker who accepts this challenge.

The drive to improve diagnosis will be led by local Clinical Commissioning Groups, working with local health and wellbeing boards. Supported by NHS England, they will get advice on improving diagnosis and setting up additional memory services where they are needed.

Read the report: ‘Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia: Delivering major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015: Annual report of progress’.

Find out more about the Dementia Challenge.