You may be aware that Public Health England has published a Wider Impacts of COVID-19 on Health monitoring tool. One of the indicators in the pack is referrals to memory clinics. Using this and with the help of Dementia Oxfordshire we have created a JSNA Bitesize now on Oxfordshire Insight on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to dementia services (and attached). This shows that:
Nationally: GP data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on referrals by GPs to memory clinics for dementia assessment.
- The rate of referrals fell in February 2020, and again in March and fell again (more steeply) in April 2020, during time of the first national lockdown.
- By September and October 2020, rates had recovered, but remained around 15% below the average for the 2018-19 baseline.
- Data for November shows another drop as the second national lockdown started (from 5 Nov20).
In Oxfordshire: the Dementia Oxfordshire service, which mainly takes referrals from memory clinics and GPs, also saw a big drop in referrals in April 2020. These have since recovered and were above the 2019 numbers in November and December 2020. The total number of referrals in 2020 was around 8% below 2019.
A big thank you to Dementia Oxfordshire for their help with this publication.