Around 460,000 people in England are diagnosed with dementia

Published February 2020

Prevent or delay onset of dementia

The risk of developing some types of dementia can be reduced, or the onset or progression delayed, through lifestyle changes. We look at the impact that we've had on risk factors such as obesity, smoking and alcohol.

Referral, diagnosis and care planning

Referral to dementia specialist diagnostic services ensures that diagnosis is timely and accurate. We look at our impact on primary and secondary care referrals and care planning reviews.

Hospital care

People with dementia often face difficulties when in hospital, such as increased confusion, leading to longer stays and discharge delays. We look at the quality of care people receive in hospital.

Social care

Care and support services are more likely to be used by people with dementia. We look at the experience that people with dementia have of care and support services.

Supporting carers

Carers of adults with dementia often have high levels of stress due to the challenges of care giving. We look at how our guidance has contributed to the support carers receive.

Spotlight on antipsychotic medicines

We look at the prescribing of antipsychotic medicines in people living with dementia.


Dr Hilda Hayo reviews recent developments and considers our role in improving care for people with dementia.

This report highlights progress made by the health and care system in implementing NICE guidance. We recognise that change can sometimes be challenging and may require pathway reconfiguration. Additional resources such as training and new equipment may also be required.

We work with partners including NHS England and NHS Improvement, Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the Care Providers Alliance and Public Health England to support these changes, and we also look for opportunities to make savings by reducing ineffective practice.

Why focus on dementia?

NICE impact reports review how our recommendations for evidence-based and cost-effective care are being used in priority areas of the health and care system, helping to improve outcomes where this is needed most.

We published our first guideline on dementia in 2006 and in 2010 dementia was the focus of our first quality standard, setting out priority areas for quality improvement in health and social care. An additional quality standard was produced in 2013 covering dementia: independence and wellbeing.

In June 2018, we updated our dementia guideline, covering the diagnosis and management of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Following this, both quality standards on dementia were updated into 1 dementia standard. This covers prevention and the assessment, management and support of people with dementia.

The NHS Long Term Plan has committed to deliver better support for people with dementia. Providing a more active focus on supporting people in the community, through enhanced community multidisciplinary teams and the application of the NHS Comprehensive Model of Personal Care.

We routinely collect data which give us information about the uptake of our guidance. To produce this report, we've worked with national partners to select those data which tell us about how our guidance might be making a difference in priority areas of dementia care. They also highlight areas where there is still room for improvement.