This World Alzheimer’s Month, I have been supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK to raise awareness of the disease, and prompt urgent action to tackle the increasing pressure that it places on society, health and care services, and the economy.
Throughout September, I have been taking action as a Dementia Research Champion, as new NHS figures reveal one in three people living with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis. This leaves them unable to access potentially life-changing treatments that could be approved for use in the UK in a few months.
Alzheimer’s Research UK says that limited availability of diagnostic tests and wider pressures on services has resulted in an unacceptable postcode lottery. Just 71.5% of people living with dementia in NHS Greater Manchester ICB will be diagnosed, compared to 73.5% in NHS South Yorkshire.
Dementia remains the biggest killer in the UK and is on track to be the nation’s most expensive health condition by 2030. If nothing changes, one in two of us will be directly affected by it – either by caring for someone with the condition, developing it ourselves or both.
I’m proud to be a Dementia Research Champion and support the tireless work of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Life-changing progress is being made in the labs every day. But we must speed up our efforts to save people from the heartbreak of dementia sooner. I’m particularly keen to help ensure everyone who is living in Manchester, Gorton with dementia gets a formal diagnosis as this is crucial in ensuring everyone can access the treatments and support they need.