Some ideas are just plain stupid.
It doesn't stop some idiot promoting them for all they're worth. The idea of 'Dementia Screening' fails at every level of sensible medicine.
A passing understanding of the Wilson/Jungner criteria of screening (this is not new, developed in 1968 by the World Health Organisation) would ensure that policy makers would understand that this would be a pointless and wasteful exercise.
Here are a couple of basics:
Screening picks up a condition in its pre-symptomatic form. Dementia 'screening' does not.
There has to be an acceptable treatment for the condition that works. Not so in Dementia (which is a variety of conditions, anyway).
There needs to be a clear understanding of the pathophysiology of the condition. We don't in Dementia.
News has come that the programme is to be abandoned: not before time. It has achieved nothing of value.
Surely there ought to have been someone at the Department of Health who could have said to the idiot politicians pushing it that it was a waste of time, money and effort. Politicians were told by many people at the time. They chose to ignore opinions outside of their narrow and shallow understanding. This is why the Department of Health is, by some distance, the worst department in Whitehall.