Huppert raises concern over Alzheimer’s support
July 24, 2012
Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has raised concerns about the thousands of dementia sufferers across the county who could be living with the disease without an official diagnosis.
He has taken up the issue with Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust after figures showed that the county falls below the national average for diagnosing dementia among sufferers.
On Monday (July 30) he will visit a drop-in centre for people with Alzheimer’s and their carers at St Columbas Church in Downing Street, Cambridge to find out more about services offered in the city for those with dementia.
Julian has raised his concerns with Sushil Jathana, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire PCT after figures suggested that only 39 per cent of people suffering from dementia in the county had received an official diagnosis compared to 43 per cent nationally.
The figures also suggest that an estimated 7,500 plus are living with the illness with or without diagnosis or medical support.
Julian has asked for details of memory clinics run in Cambridgeshire under the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme to help sufferers and the average waiting time for those referred to the service.
He took up the issue after the Alzheimer’s Society called for his help in improving support services.
“These figures are extremely worrying,” said Julian. “My constituency surgeries have given me the opportunity on occasion to hear first-hand the devastating impact dementia can have on the lives of sufferers and their families. People without an official diagnosis don’t have access to support which can be vital to help them and their carers.
“I am also concerned that, even with an official diagnosis, the waiting times for support services nationally can be more than a year. We have to do better than this. With an ageing population, it is inevitable that more of us are at risk from this disease and we have to be able to offer sufferers and their families support at the earliest opportunity to cope with what can be a very destructive illness for all concerned.”