Experts have warned that while Britain will have more than a million
dementia patients within a decade, about 6 out 10 of them will remain
undiagnosed. This means that by 2011 there will be almost 600,000 people with
undiagnosed dementia. Presently there are over 300,000 undiagnosed patients at
the moment but this figure will almost double over the next decade.
This number is soaring as more and more people are living into their 80's and 90's. Despite the fact that early diagnosis allows patients and their families to get proper treatment and support, many people delay in seeking help because they fear they will lose their independence. Some General Practitioners are unable to recognize the symptoms of dementia or are unwilling to diagnose the symptoms as dementia. Compared to other EU countries, in UK access to diagnostic services and treatment options is already poor and this situation is getting even worse now.
In the UK, Dorset has the lowest diagnosis rate with 26%, while the region with the highest diagnosis rate is Belfast at 69%.