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Former GP highlights struggle for dementia diagnosis

Former GP highlights struggle for dementia diagnosis
29th January 2013

A former GP has highlighted the length of time it can take to receive a dementia diagnosis, after two neurologists and several colleagues failed to acknowledge her disease for more than four years.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Jennifer Bute has told how she failed to recognise two colleagues of more than 20 years in 2005 and immediately became concerned she was developing the condition.

Just days after the incident, she resigned from her role, fearing she may be putting patients at risk.

An MRI scan and cognitive tests returned negative results and Ms Bute was repeatedly told she did not have dementia. She believes this reliance on factual recall is responsible for the fact there is an estimated 500,000 people in the UK living with the condition who have not yet been diagnosed.

"I didn't tick certain boxes so as far as the medical profession was concerned I couldn't have dementia, and was sent away to cope as best as I could," she explained.

Ms Bute was eventually diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition in 2009 - almost five years after she first noticed the symptoms.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.