Not everyone with dementia has a diagnosis. This can be due to a number of factors including difficulty diagnosing in the early stages, the slow progression and limited public awareness of the diseases that cause dementia.

This page show the number of people diagnosed with dementia in each of the countries of the UK and the total for the UK, over time. It shows the number of diagnoses in each Health and Social Care Trust for Northern Ireland, each NHS Health Board in Scotland and Wales and by NHS regional groups.

The diagnosis rate shows the proportion of the total number of people with dementia in each nation, who have received a dementia diagnosis.

Select a country

Diagnoses rate

Source: England: NHS Digital;  Quality Outcomes Framework data; Recorded Dementia Diagnosis Data. Wales: General medical services contract: Quality and outcomes framework. Scotland: Information Services Division; Quality and Outcomes Framework General Practice. Northern Ireland: Department of Health; 2016/17 raw disease prevalence trend data for Northern Ireland

UK diagnoses

These figures represent the total number of people who have been given a dementia diagnosis by their GP or memory service.

Source: England: NHS Digital;  Quality Outcomes Framework data; Recorded Dementia Diagnosis Data. Wales: General medical services contract: Quality and outcomes framework. Scotland: Information Services Division; Quality and Outcomes Framework General Practice. Northern Ireland: Department of Health; 2016/17 raw disease prevalence trend data for Northern Ireland

Source: England: NHS Digital; Quality Outcomes Framework data; Recorded Dementia Diagnosis Data. Wales: General medical services contract: Quality and outcomes framework. Scotland: Information Services Division; Quality and Outcomes Framework General Practice. Northern Ireland: Department of Health; 2016/17 raw disease prevalence trend data for Northern Ireland

England

Source: NHS Digital; Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) Recorded Dementia Diagnoses August 2017

From 2005/06 to 2015/16, the number of people on the dementia register rose from 213,000 to 441,813, an increase of 101%.

Northern Ireland

Source: Department of Health; 2016/17 raw disease prevalence trend data for Northern Ireland

From 2006/07 to 2015/16, the number of people on the dementia register rose from 9,550 to 13,617, an increase of 43%.

 

Wales

Source: General Medical Services Contract: Quality and Outcomes Framework Statistics for Wales, 2016-17

From 2007 to 2015, the number of people on the dementia register rose from 13,234 to 19,239, an increase of 45%.

Scotland

Source: Information Services Division Scotland: Quality & Outcomes Framework – Prevalence, achievement, payment and exceptions data for Scotland, 2015/16

Between 2006/07 and 2015/16 there was a rise of 52.5% on the Scottish dementia register, from 29,603 to 45,139.

Dementia diagnosis rate

These show the national dementia diagnosis rates for the four nations. There is variation in diagnosis rates across the UK and within nations and there is a continuing challenge to ensure equal access for everyone.

Diagnosis rate is calculated by dividing the number of people diagnosed with dementia (as reported in national health statistics) by the total estimated number of people living with dementia. For all four nations and the UK as a whole, the total number of people estimated to be living with dementia is from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (see source below) which is for over 65’s only.

In England, the reported number of diagnoses is provided for over and under 65’s so we have provided both an under and over 65 diagnosis rate using estimates of the the number of people under 65 from the Dementia UK report (see source below).

For Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales the diagnosis rates are slightly inflated as these nations do not provide a breakdown of age in their published dementia diagnoses reports, meaning they include both over and under 65’s. The calculated rate for these nations is therefore all people diagnosed with dementia divided by the estimated number of people living with dementia over the age of 65.

This has been done to ensure consistency with published diagnosis rate data from NHS England. The estimated number of people living with dementia under the age of 65 is around 5% of the total so the inflation should be small.

Sources for all: England: NHS Digital; Quality Outcomes Framework data; Recorded Dementia Diagnosis Data. Wales: General medical services contract: Quality and outcomes framework. Scotland: Information Services Division; Quality and Outcomes Framework General Practice. Northern Ireland: Department of Health; 2016/17 raw disease prevalence trend data for Northern Ireland. Matthews, F et al (2013). A two-decade comparison of prevalence of dementia in individuals aged 65 years and older from three geographical areas of England: results of the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study I and II – on behalf of the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Collaboration. Dementia UK 2007 by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The number of diagnoses over time by nation are shown below.

All information presented here is from nationally reported health statistics, with annual reports from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and monthly reported statistics from England. For more information, use the Contact us page to get in touch.

Source: England: NHS Digital;  Quality Outcomes Framework data; Recorded Dementia Diagnosis Data. Wales: General medical services contract: Quality and outcomes framework. Scotland:Information Services Division; Quality and Outcomes Framework General Practice. Northern Ireland: Department of Health; 2015/16 raw disease prevalence trend data for Northern Ireland.