The Member for South Wales West is calling on the Welsh Government increase funding for post-diagnostic services and establish a dementia data observatory to aid those who deliver dementia services in Wales.
Between 2007 and 2015, there was a 45% increase in those with a dementia diagnosis in Wales, with the latest total being 22,686 with a confirmed diagnosis. Best estimates place the actual number of people living with dementia in Wales at around 50,000.
Huw Owen, Policy Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said, “the pandemic interrupted healthcare services, meaning many people with dementia were unable to get a diagnosis. Since March 2020, it’s estimated an extra 30,000 diagnoses have been missed in the UK, leaving people unable to get the support they so crucially need.
We support this call for research into accurate diagnostic tools and person-centred services. Additionally, if you’re worried about your memory, or that of a loved one, visit alzheimers.org.uk to learn more about dementia, its symptoms, and how to get a diagnosis.”
“My own families experience with Dementia is the driving force behind my proposed motion” said Luke Fletcher MS. “My grandmother, Sandra Lewis, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a diagnosis that had taken some time to get. Like all types of dementia, correct diagnosis as soon as possible is key to a person’s care and quality of life.”
Luke Fletcher MS added “dementia patients and carers have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and we must act now to ensure that they get the support that they need. The social care system in Wales was put under significant pressure during the pandemic and unpaid carers in particular, were key in ensuring that the system was still functioning during this period and giving them the support they need is the perfect way to show gratitude.”
“The Dementia Action Plan 2018-22 included a commitment to a person-centred service, so I am asking the Welsh Government to fund research into developing accurate diagnostic tools to ensure that people who receive a diagnosis of dementia can access the correct support immediately post diagnosis.”