As part of Dementia Action Week (15-21 May), Tonia Antoniazzi MP attended a Parliamentary reception hosted by Alzheimer’s Society where they found out that, unlike in England, NHS Wales doesn’t publish a dementia diagnosis rate.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP has lent their support to the charity’s Dementia Action Week campaign on the importance of dementia diagnosis. The tagline “It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill” encourages people worried about their own or a loved one’s memory, to seek support in getting a diagnosis using a ‘symptoms checklist’. This is available on Alzheimer’s Society’s online hub at www.alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss.
Now, Tonia Antoniazzi MP is joining Alzheimer’s Society to call on NHS Wales to ensure that comprehensive dementia diagnosis data is collected and published centrally on a national level so that Wales’ performance can be compared to other parts of the UK.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “There are around 50,000 people in Wales living with dementia, but we have no way of knowing what percentage are actually diagnosed with the condition. Everyone living with dementia deserves an accurate, timely, and high-quality dementia diagnosis so they can access vital care and support, and plan for their future. High-quality data will benefit people with dementia, and enable NHS Wales to plan resources more effectively.”
James White, Head of National Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We thank Tonia Antoniazzi MP for meeting with us, and showing their support this Dementia Action Week.
“In England, the dementia diagnosis rate fell below the national ambition during the pandemic, and it has remained stagnant around 62% ever since. More than 30,000 people have missed out on a diagnosis during this period.
“We believe it’s better to know – 9 in 10 people told us they benefitted from getting a diagnosis as it meant they could access treatment and advice and plan for the future.
“In Wales, we don’t even know the scale of the diagnosis challenge, so we need high-quality local and national data as soon as possible.”
For support and information about dementia visit alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss or call Alzheimer’s Society on 0333 150 3456.
[0330 094 7400 Welsh-speaking number] For callers who do not have English as their language of choice, Alzheimer’s Society can arrange a simultaneous language translation service.