About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) reports on the Scottish Government’s Local Delivery Plan (LDP) standard that all people newly diagnosed with dementia should receive a minimum of one year’s post-diagnostic support. The LDP standard is reported in two parts: the percentage of people estimated to be newly diagnosed with dementia who were referred for post-diagnostic support; and, of those referred, the percentage who received a minimum of one year’s support. This report presents finalised figures for 2016/17 and 2017/18 and provisional figures for 2018/19 which are subject to some service users completing their support.

Main points

  • There were 8,021 people diagnosed and referred for dementia post-diagnostic support in 2018/19, compared to 7,607 in 2017/18.
  • Of those referred in 2018/19 for post-diagnostic support, 75.1% received a minimum of one year’s support. In 2017/18, the percentage was 73.0%.
Image caption Percentage of referrals who received a minimum of one year’s post-diagnostic support by NHS Board; 2018/19P
Bar chart showing percentage of referrals who received a minimum of one year's post-diagnostic support by NHS Board in financial year 2018/19.
  1. Figures for 2018/19 are provisional (P) subject to all service users completing their support.
  2. Figures for NHS Grampian are affected by a change in service provision of PDS within Aberdeen City during 2019. See background for further information.
  • In Scotland, 43.4% of those people estimated to be newly diagnosed with dementia in 2018/19 were referred for post-diagnostic support, compared to 42.3% in 2017/18.


The Scottish Government published their third national dementia strategy (external website) in 2017. This included the commitment to extend and embed dementia post-diagnostic support (PDS). In order to effectively monitor the delivery of PDS a national LDP standard (external website) was introduced for all people newly diagnosed with dementia to receive a minimum of one year’s PDS.

NHS Boards provide quarterly data submissions to PHS, in line with data definitions effective 1 April 2019, on individuals diagnosed with dementia and referred for post-diagnostic support within their local areas. This dataset forms the basis of the LDP standard calculation. For this report, the Scotland level error rate for 2016/17 was 3.4%, for 2017/18 was 1.8% and for 2018/19 was 4.7%.

Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership ceased its contract with Alzheimer Scotland during 2019 and introduced an in-house dementia PDS service. This transition resulted in some PDS cases being terminated by Alzheimer Scotland earlier than 12 months and therefore not meeting the LDP standard. As part of the transition, individuals were contacted to ask if they still wanted to receive PDS which was then provided by the in-house service, if required. This should be taken into account when interpreting figures for 2018/19.

Information presented in this publication is not comparable to information published for time periods prior to 2016/17.

Part of the LDP standard calculation requires the number of referrals for PDS to be compared against an estimated number of newly diagnosed dementia cases each year. Health Board level estimates of people newly diagnosed with dementia (incidence) used for this calculation are from the paper ‘Estimated and Projected Diagnosis Rates for Dementia in Scotland 2014-2020’ (external website) published by the Scottish Government in 2016.

Further information

For further information, please see the Dementia Post-Diagnostic Support (external website) web page.

For information on the Dementia Benchmarking toolkit, please see the Dementia Bookmarking toolkit publication. For related topics, please see the mental health (external website) and health and social community care (external website) web pages.

The next release of this publication will be in March 2022.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.dementiapds@phs.scot.

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If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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