2. Memory assessment

Improve access to memory assessment

Questions to consider

  • what resources are in place currently?
  • what are the ‘unmet needs’?
  • could services be designed to be more effective, and more efficient?

DRIVER: True prevalence, incidence, diagnosis rates, forecast

ActionsResourcesExamples
With stake holders,

  • model demand and supply for specialist assessments, specialist memory services; and for post-diagnosis support in the community
  • identify outcomes and quality standards
Set trajectories for improvement in diagnosis rates. Estimate the number of specialist memory assessments which will convert to diagnosis of dementia
Establish cost benefits and options for service delivery
Produce memory service specifications to include required increase in rates of diagnosis and standards of delivery. This may include:

  • diagnosis pathways within primary care (for example, for people presenting with at a later stage of dementia, i.e. with moderate-severe dementias)
  • diagnosis pathways via specialist memory services (for example, for people presenting with possible mild dementias, early onset dementia; complex presentations)
Commission specialist memory services sufficient to meet projected increase in demand.
Incorporate requirements for memory assessment services into annual contract(s), including activity and quality standards.
Introduce a set of standard Read codes to specialist memory services and ensure these are utilised in discharge.
  • Improving GP coding of dementia in London

    This project aimed to find out whether it is possible to raise diagnosis rates through undertaking an exercise to ‘clean up’ dementia coding and records at a practice level. The hypothesis was that problems in GP coding may be contributing to the reported dementia diagnosis gap. Read more »