Dementia cases increase by 62 per cent over seven years

Provisional figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show 344,000 patients had a recorded diagnosis of dementia in 2013/14.

This is a rise from 319,000 in 2012/13 and from 213,000 in 2006/07, when the data was first collected.

Today’s statistics show the numbers of patients registered with GP practices in England who have a recorded diagnosis of dementia and this is the first time the HSCIC has published a standalone report on this subject.

Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) Recorded Dementia Diagnoses – Provisional 2013/14(2,3), shows the increase in recorded diagnosis has been steady since this data was first collected. The rise may be due to the ageing population, an increase in the number of people being diagnosed, improved recording of diagnoses or a combination of factors.

The report also shows:

  • The percentage of registered patients with a recorded diagnosis of dementia (prevalence rate) has increased in all four NHS regions of England between 2012/13 and 2013/14.
  • There is regional variation in the level of recorded diagnosis, with the North and South having the highest levels at 0.68 and 0.67 per cent, the Midlands and East of England at 0.62 per cent and London, with its different age profile notably lower at 0.39 per cent.
  • Looking at variation in the level of recorded diagnosis by Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the CCG with the highest level at March 2014 was the Isle of Wight at 1.1 per cent; where 46.4 per cent of all patients registered with GPs are aged 50 and over. The lowest recorded level was in Tower Hamlets CCG, at 0.25 per cent where 15.5 per cent of all patients are 50 or over.

George Mcnamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society says:

‘More people with dementia may now be known by their GP and registered as having the condition, but the stark reality is that hundreds of thousands still face the life-altering diagnosis of dementia alone, without any support or information.

Whilst a rise in diagnosis does show progress, over half of people living with dementia still do not have one. With an ageing population and more people developing the condition, diagnosing dementia must remain a priority. Whilst it is one of the most feared conditions for those over 55, everyone has a right to know they are living with dementia and deserves the chance to access available treatments and support.’