Unlocking Diagnosis: The Key to Improving the Lives of People with Dementia
This inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia covers all parts of the UK, including NI. Evidence for the inquiry was gathered from people with dementia, carers, family members, health professionals and other organisations and interested others, using a questionnaire. The inquiry found a range of barriers to diagnosis that included poor public awareness; a need for GP training and problems with the Quality and Outcomes framework within which GPs operate; problems with current assessment tools; variability in memory services provision; and poor post-diagnostic support. Nine general recommendations are made with further specific suggestions for devolved health administrations. In the case of NI it was suggested that the awareness campaign referred to in the regional strategy could be prioritised; that the Health Minister could make a commitment on how data on diagnostic rates already available through the NHS Atlas of Variation could be used in monitoring the progress of the strategy; the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency could explore options to include questions to identify symptoms of dementia through regular interventions with the over-65s and others at higher risk of dementia.