More than 200 older people in Hucknall and the rest of Ashfield are likely to be living with undiagnosed dementia, new figures suggest.
NHS Digital data shows that, in September this year, 1,235 people, aged 65 or over, in Ashfield had a recorded dementia diagnosis.
However, estimates in the same data, based on the local population, point to the real number being 1,482, which means 247 pensioners could have dementia that is undetected and so not recorded by their GP.
The Alzheimer’s Society said such a disparity between diagnosis and detection was “worrying”, especially for a disease which was now the country’s biggest killer.
Sally Copley, the society’s director of policy and campaigns, said: “The number of people with dementia is set to double over the next two decades, so it has never been more urgent to ensure a proper system of social care is in place.”
Dementia and Alzheimer’s account for one in eight deaths in England, and the NHS figures were collected in response to a challenge set by former Prime Minister David Cameron that called for a target of at least two-thirds of patients to be diagnosed.
The good news for Ashfield is that 83 per cent of expected dementia sufferers in the district were diagnosed in September, which is well above the target.
Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms such as loss of memory, behaviour changes and problems in reasoning. Across England, 462,000 older people have recorded dementia, but the detection rates vary dramatically from 93 per cent in one area to 43 per cent in another.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “More people are being diagnosed than ever before, and we are committed to improving this with better access to care and support, and increasing public awareness and funding into research.”