Dementia figures show hundreds may go undiagnosed in St Albans


Doctor - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of older people in St Albans may be living with undiagnosed dementia, according to NHS estimates.

Figures collected by GPs show that there are 992 people over the age of 65 who have been diagnosed with some form of dementia, but NHS estimates suggest that the real figure may be 1,668.

This means that there are an estimated 676 pensioners living with dementia which has not been formally recorded by their doctor.

The diagnosis rate for the whole of England is 68.2 per cent, but St Albans is below the national average with a diagnosis rate of 59.5 per cent. The Department of Health wants GP surgeries to increase the rate of diagnosis as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, set up by David Cameron.

Alzheimer’s Society director of policy, campaigns and partnerships Sally Copley said: “The essential first step to the care and support everyone should have a right to is a diagnosis.”