Dementia cases show huge rise in East Riding

NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG currently has 3,314 people on the register.
NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG currently has 3,314 people on the register.

The East Riding has seen one of the largest percentage increases of people diagnosed with dementia, analysis of NHS data shows.

The NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG currently has 3,314 people on the dementia register, a rise of 68% over five years.

In April 2014 there were 1,975 people on the list.

NHS Hull CCG has 2,286 registered (a 43% rise) while NHS Vale of York CCG’s figure was 2,736 (an increase of 32%).

The total amount of people on the dementia register in the North East and Yorkshire has risen from 62,800 to 78,240, an increase of 25%

Latest figures show there were around 508,000 people on the dementia register of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A drive to increase diagnosis rates and an ageing population were behind the increase, experts said.

Dr Karen Harrison-Dening, head of research and publications at Dementia UK, said: “Care at the moment is very hit or miss.

“There are no standardised services across the country so it is still very much a postcode lottery as to what care and support you might receive.

“We rely heavily on families to care for their loved ones themselves.

“They bear the brunt of the care and they bear the brunt of the financial burden. It has been likened to an extra financial tax for people with dementia.

A NHS England spokesperson said: “Spotting dementia in a timely way means people get the care they need, when they need it, so it’s good news that thanks to concerted efforts nationally and locally the NHS is now diagnosing more people than ever before, beating the target we set ourselves.

“As the population ages, dementia is becoming a challenge for more families, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan sets out a blueprint for older people’s care and makes early diagnosis and treatment for major health problems a top priority.”

Dementia is a syndrome caused by a number of illnesses, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s. There are a number of causes of dementia, including vascular dementia which is caused by problems with the blood vessels and circulation in the brain.

Having a healthy diet, stopping smoking, treating diabetes well and regular exercise all help to prevent dementia.

In 2012, the Government launched an initiative to increase the diagnosis rate of dementia.

At the time, it was estimated only 40% of those living with the condition had been officially diagnosed.

Dementia care costs the UK just under £35bn per year.

Two thirds of that is being footed by families rather than the Government.

Charities said care provision must improve, calling it a ‘ridiculous lottery’.

NHS England said it was a priority to diagnose dementia earlier so people could receive correct treatment.