Attending GP appointments remotely has meant alternatives to diagnose dementia had been lost, the NHS’ dementia chief has mentioned.
Dementia prognosis charges have fallen considerably for the reason that pandemic, in accordance to latest analysis, with one in 4 individuals with signs ready greater than two years for a affirmation.
Professor Alistair Burns, nationwide medical director for dementia and older individuals’s psychological well being, mentioned a decline in face to face appointments meant alternatives to spot the situation had fallen.
Speaking on the Alzheimer’s Society annual convention on Tuesday, he mentioned: “I’ve met quite a few people who say over the pandemic GPs were so busy, hospitals were so busy, ‘I didn’t want to bother them’.”
He added that many individuals visiting for different causes, equivalent to a blood strain verify, may point out different issues with their reminiscence, which may lead to a prognosis.
‘Patient’s selection’ on sort of appointment
Prof Burns mentioned there have been “pros and cons” to cellphone and video consultations and that he has “not seen my GP for some time now”.
But he mentioned it have to be a “patient’s choice” concerning the sort of appointment.
He additionally highlighted the “issue of digital exclusion” and mentioned these with out entry to new know-how “are at a disadvantage”.
Encouraging older individuals who could also be fearful about their reminiscence to come ahead for an evaluation is “crucial”, he mentioned, including: “And that may go some way to making up for the lack of opportunistic face to face contacts.”
His warning comes as analysis revealed greater than 300,000 persons are dwelling with undiagnosed dementia.
The Government goal is for 67 per cent of individuals with circumstances equivalent to Alzheimer’s to obtain a prognosis. However, new figures have proven lower than 60 per cent of circumstances are being detected.
The research by Future Health advised that it equates to 325,862 individuals dwelling in England with undiagnosed dementia.