Diagnostic Care Pathways in Dementia: A Review of the Involvement of Primary Care in Practice and Innovation

Christine Wells, Sarah Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)
    143 Downloads (Pure)


    Objectives: Increasing diagnostic rates of dementia is a national health priority1; to meet this priority improvement needs to be made to diagnostic services. It has been increasingly recognised that primary can play a significant role in the diagnostic journey for people with dementia2, with some diagnostic services entirely located in Primary Care (e.g. Dodd, et al3). This paper reviews the extent of the involvement of Primary Care in diagnostic care pathways for people presenting with memory complaints within England, and presents examples of innovative approaches, which may be of interest to practitioners. Method: A rapid review was undertaken to identify papers outlining diagnostic care pathways for dementia involving primary care in England. Results: Six articles relating to pathway evaluations and innovative approaches involving primary care were deemed suitable for inclusion in the review. Conclusions: The review found examples of diagnostic pathways and innovative practices being implemented in in primary care. These practices aligned to the strategic ambitions of the National Dementia Strategy1. However it was widely acknowledged that there is a need to improve post-diagnostic pathways; in particular access to post-diagnostic support. This issue is being reflected in contemporary policy initiatives such as the Department of Health’s 2016 Joint Declaration on post-diagnostic dementia care and support4.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-111
    JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
    Issue number2
    Early online date22 Nov 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


    • Dementia
    • diagnosis
    • pathways
    • primary care
    • support


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