The Government has launched an interactive map that shows the quality of dementia care in different parts of England.
The “Dementia Atlas” allows people to compare aspects of dementia care, including prevention, diagnosis and support, in different clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
The map reveals gaps in the quality of care, which reveal a postcode lottery in a patient’s chances of receiving good care.
For example, around 80% of dementia sufferers are being sent to hospital in NHS Knowsley CCG, compared to just 16% in NHS Medway CCG.
In North East Lincolnshire CCG, 85.8% of patients have had their care reviewed in the last year, while just 49.3% receive the same care in Somerset CCG.
The Government is hoping the map will prompt CCGs to increase their efforts to prevent dementia, diagnose it earlier and better support sufferers.
Secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, said: “We have made great strides in improving diagnosis rates, investing in research and creating the first dementia friendly communities, but we still have much further to go to promise everyone that they will be able to live well with the condition.
“The impact of dementia tears at families and at our social fabric – that’s why making progress is a key government priority.”
This week also sees the launch of the new NHS Health Check Dementia Pilots.
Public Health England is working with Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society to extend the dementia risk reduction component of the NHS Health Check to all 40-64-year-olds at sites in Birmingham, Bury, Manchester City and Southampton City.
This will see over 250 GP practices raising awareness about dementia risk reduction among people in midlife as part of the health check for the first time.
The map also reveals the number of “dementia friends” in different parts of the country, with some areas housing 8,000 people trained to help dementia sufferers, and others with none.
Since 2013, over 1.6 million people have signed up to become a Dementia Friend, and there are now more than 150 dementia friendly communities in England alone.
The Alzheimer’s Society hopes to achieve 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020. The main aims of the programme are to tackle the stigma around dementia that results in people feeling excluded from their communities and improve the lives of those with the condition and their families.