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More than three quarters of GPs believe people with dementia don’t get enough support from the NHS or Social Services, reveals a damning survey

Nearly 80 per cent of GPs believe people with dementia are consistently let down by a complex and confusing health and social care system.

The survey of more than one thousand GPs was carried out by The Alzheimer’s Society and paints a bleak picture of the patchy and inconsistent amount of practical and emotional support a person diagnosed with dementia is likely to receive.

The GPs surveyed also admitted being ‘reluctant’ to refer patients who may have dementia for a formal diagnosis if support services weren’t in place. Around 25 per cent also said they felt limited by their own lack of training in dementia.

As a result, the onus for caring and supporting a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, often falls on family, friends, and unpaid carers, rather than professional services, GPs believe.

Families left struggling

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of The Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘Our survey gives a stark view from the doctor’s surgery of people with dementia left struggling in the aftermath of a diagnosis, and with relatives left to pick up the pieces alone.’

Many of the GP’s surveyed were also concerned by the lack of support people with dementia might receive to combat loneliness, anxiety and depression or to maintain a good, healthy diet.

‘These findings reinforce the urgency of putting in place meaningful care and support for all people with dementia,’ adds Jeremy Hughes.

If you, or someone you know, need information on any of the subjects above go to our advice pages. For instant support from other dementia carers go to our community forums.