As part of his ongoing campaign to raise awareness of dementia, South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland recently wrote to Sue Harriman, Chief Executive of Bath and North-East Somerset, Swindon, and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB).
Sir Robert informed the local ICB about his ongoing work around dementia with Alzheimer’s Society and called for them to join him in his commitment to increasing the dementia diagnosis rate locally.
The estimated dementia diagnosis rate in Swindon was 49.4% in 2022, compared to the England average of 62.0% and a national target of 66.6%.
Increasing the dementia diagnosis rate locally will mean that more people here in Swindon will receive access to vital care and support.
Following the letter to the Chief Executive of BSW ICB, Sue Harriman Sir Robert and Alzheimer’s Society are pleased to announce that the Integrated Care Board has committed to increasing the dementia rate with a series of planned interventions. This builds upon work that BSW ICB has already started through their Dementia Diagnosis Rate action plan.
Key commitments include:
- Developing a specialist Older People’s Mental Health resource to work in primary care to support improving the diagnosis of dementia and associated recording.
- Optimising capacity in memory assessment services. Changes to the clinical model are underway. This includes shared care prescribing to refocus Memory Assessment capacity on front-end assessments and building ‘Rapid Assessment Diagnosis’ clinics into the Swindon Model.
- A series of activities to increase awareness and encourage earlier identification and diagnosis to support timely and targeted treatment.
Sir Robert Buckland MP said
“As part of my ongoing campaign to raise awareness of dementia here in Swindon, I have joined forces with Alzheimer’s Society to work to increase the dementia diagnosis rate locally.
“There are estimated to be 2,700 people living with dementia in Swindon, yet too many are facing it alone, so it is important that we help more people access the vital and support that they need.
“I am delighted that BSW Integrated Care Board have committed to a series of planned interventions to increase the dementia diagnosis rate, and I look forward to working with them closely in the future along with Alzheimer’s Society.
Tim Baverstock, Head of Local Systems Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“A timely, accurate and high-quality diagnosis for people living with dementia is crucial in helping them to understand, manage and live well with their condition, and in unlocking the support that follows.
“Unfortunately, too often access to a dementia diagnosis is a postcode lottery. Regional variation in diagnosis rates across the country is significant. When you consider this alongside the profound impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on diagnosis rates, the urgency of addressing these disparities should be clear.
“Too many people living with dementia are now living without the clarity and support that a diagnosis brings and instead are left to cope alone.
“It’s encouraging to see that BSW Integrated Care Board are committed to taking the necessary steps to increase diagnosis rates within Swindon and we urge all Integrated Care Systems to follow suit.”