New figures reveal increase in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia in the South West

New figures have revealed an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia in the South West. The number diagnosed rose by 2,200 in the last year from 28,000 to 30,200.

Both Plymouth PCT and Bristol PCT saw the biggest improvement in diagnosis rates in the region, with an increase of 3% in the last year.

The diagnosis rates are from the Government’s Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) data for 2010-11, which is the number of people registered with GPs as living with dementia.

To view the QOF results visit

  • Online database – to find the results for your local surgery.
  • Bulletin – to read the key findings and explanations.
  • Data tables – to view national, SHA, PCT and practice level data tables.

Doreen Abbott from Thornbury near Plymouth was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, four years after she first went to her GP with concerns about her memory. Doreen says:

“My reaction when I was diagnosed was ‘I’m glad.’ It sounds ridiculous, but it was a relief as I then knew that I wasn’t being silly or paranoid and that there was something wrong. I was pleased as I had been battling for a diagnosis for a long time. Now I am able to tell people that I have Alzheimer’s so they understand why I might forget which bus stop I need to get off at, or why I might find some situations difficult to deal with.”

Debbie Donnison, Area manager for Alzheimer’s Society in the South West says:

“Everyone is a little bit forgetful now and again, but when memory loss starts to interfere with your daily life it is important to get it checked out as soon as possible. The sooner people are diagnosed, the sooner they can get support and start planning for the future.”

The Alzheimer’s Society recommends that anyone concerned about memory problems, and experiencing any of the following should speak to their GP:

  • struggling to remember recent events, despite being able to recall things that happened in the past
  • finding it difficult to follow conversations or programmes on TV
  • regularly forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects
  • unable to recall things you’ve heard, seen or read
  • having difficulty in making decisions
  • repeating conversations or losing the thread in speech
  • having problems thinking and reasoning
  • feeling anxious, depressed or angry about your forgetfulness
  • finding that other people are commenting on your forgetfulness