Chief Medical Officer’s annual report outlines dementia challenges in England - Alzheimer's Society comments

The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has released his first independent annual report ‘Health trends and variation in England’ today.

In relation to dementia, the report shows that:

  • Dementia is the leading cause of death for women
  • Prevalence of dementia has increased with higher levels in rural and costal towns
  • Deaths due to dementia have increased
  • There is an increasing concentration of older citizens in particular, often in different parts of the country, and irrespective of deprivation, who have diseases such as dementia, many cancers and cardiovascular disease. Often, they are in semirural parts of the country where provision of services is more difficult, and this trend is likely to continue. We need to get ahead of it, or we will be faced by an entirely predictable problem of delivery of service to those in greatest need.

Read the CMO’s annual report.

Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'This report further underpins dementia as the biggest health and social care challenge of our time. With someone developing dementia every three minutes and deaths from the condition continually rising, the Government must recognise the need to tackle dementia as a priority.

'Early detection is crucial to living well with the condition for as long as possible, so we absolutely cannot afford for dementia diagnosis rates to carry on falling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.'

We urgently need the Government to commit to doubling dementia research spending, and to breathe life into our dilapidated social care system, to ensure we aren’t failing the rising numbers of people living with the condition.