THE NUMBER of Thurrock residents being diagnosed with dementia has risen dramatically over the past year.
Figures released by the Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) show that dementia diagnoses rose in 24 of the 37 surgeries in the borough.
Top of the charts is the East Tilbury Medical Centre. In 2013-14, 13 patients were diagnosed with dementia. In 2014-15 that has risen to 47.
Overall, in 2013-14 in Thurrock, there was 713 patients diagnosed with dementia. In 2014-15 that has risen to 935.
Health officials introduced a Â£55 payment for GPs for each patient classed as having the condition in the six months from October 2014, in a bid to push up rates of diagnosis.
Leading GPs condemned the scheme as an “ethical travesty” which amounted to “cash for diagnoses”.
In some parts of the country, NHS authorities went further – offering family doctors Â£200 for each new diagnosis made.
The report from HSCIC also shows the number of prescriptions for drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease is now six times higher than a decade ago.