Doctors refusing to carry out ‘pointless’ tests for dementia

Doctors are refusing to carry out tests for dementia as they believe it is pointless as there is no effective cure available, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said. Mr Hunt said the country should be “ashamed” that so many people were being denied treatment which could stave off the condition for years.

Across the UK just 46% of people with dementia were diagnosed in 2012 according to the Alzheimer’s Society and in some areas as few as one in three were diagnosed. In Wales, just 38.5% of those living with dementia received a formal diagnosis. In Scotland the diagnosis rate is markedly higher at 64.4%. Mr Hunt commented that “some health professionals ..believe that without an effective cure there’s no point putting people through the anxiety of a memory test – even though drugs can stave off the condition for several years…… Yet with access to the right drugs and support for a partner, someone can live happily and healthily at home for much longer”.