NHS England has set the first-ever national ambition to improve dementia diagnosis rates and ensure that two-thirds of people with dementia will be identified and given appropriate support by 2015.
There are currently 670,000 people with dementia in England but 350,000 of those people remain undiagnosed and without access to support.
With the number of sufferers set to double in the next 30 years and costs expected to rise to £19 billion, improved diagnosis will be key if the system is to cope effectively with the predicted surge in numbers.
The drive to improve diagnosis will be led by local Clinical Commissioning Groups, working with local health and wellbeing boards. Supported by NHS England, they will get advice on improving diagnosis and setting up additional memory services where they are needed.
Dr Martin McShane, Director NHS England said:
“NHS England recognises that dementia is a national priority and is committed to working with Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards to achieve transformation in the quality of care and support for people with dementia , and for their carers.”