Health and Social Care Committee: Clearing the backlog caused by the pandemic - Alzheimer's Society responds

A report by The Health and Social Care Committee reveals that Omicron and the emergency care crisis could derail plans to tackle the backlog of people waiting to seek elective care.

Alzheimer's Society responds to this report in light of the number of people with dementia still waiting for a formal diagnosis

James White, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said:

'A dementia diagnosis isn’t something that can be put off – this growing backlog, as detailed in the Committee’s report, is leaving thousands of people in the dark, denying them the chance to adjust, and unlock the door to vital treatment, care and support.'

We estimate that at least 33,000 more people who have dementia would have been diagnosed if the pandemic had not happened. 

'We are also hugely concerned at how chronically understaffed and overworked memory services are - on a local level, we’ve heard that one memory clinic, which usually performs around 20 assessments per week, now has a nine-month waiting list for an assessment, with 700 people still waiting to be seen.

'We’re calling for a clear recovery plan and investment of at least £70m over the next two years to tackle the backlog specifically caused by the pandemic, at the very minimum getting the dementia diagnosis rate back to the national target of 67%.'

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