New ‘dementia atlas’ reveals disparity in care across England

People with dementia are being let down by local services across the country, according to new government data that critics say has revealed a postcode lottery in care for the chronic and degenerative brain disease.

An interactive “dementia atlas”, published online on Tuesday by the Department of Health, shows that standards of care vary widely in different areas, with services failing to reach almost half the patients for check-ups even once a year in one area.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said the data would “shine a spotlight” on the areas with the worst performance, and so drive improvements across the country. But political opponents said it revealed a healthcare system struggling to stay afloat.

The Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, Norman Lamb, said: “This is yet more evidence of the NHS and the care system on its knees. We are the sixth largest economy in the world and yet we are letting down very vulnerable people in a completely unacceptable way.

“How can we tolerate allowing people who have worked hard all their lives to be let down in this way in their hour of need? We need a new long-term settlement for the NHS and care so that we can guarantee people with dementia and others the care they need, when they need it.”

Full story in The Guardian 16 August 2016