The status of current clinical practice in diagnosis of young onset dementia in England

Findings from the Angela Project

Neuropsychiatry and behavioural neurology/assessment/measurement of neuropsychiatric/behavioural and psychological symptoms


The presentation of dementia in young people is complex and challenging, often resulting in delays in receiving a confirmed diagnosis and appropriate support. A recent Delphi consensus has derived minimum and gold standards for the diagnostic workup that international expert clinicians consider best practice. This presentation will review the results of a large case note audit that assessed compliance with these standards in current UK clinical practice.


403 patient records of young people who received a diagnosis of dementia in the last 5 years were audited according to our minimum and gold standards. Records were obtained from memory services within eight different National Health Service locations from across England.


We found significant differences between the sites in meeting the standards, though all sites had median scores that were below 50% compliance for both the minimum and gold standard. This suggests that current UK assessments fail to reach an acceptable standard.


Further consultation with clinicians and young people with dementia is necessary to understand local impediments to meeting an acceptable standard and to identify interventions that can lead to improvement.


Janet Carter, Mary O’Malley, Jackie Campbell, Vasileios Stamou, Jenny H. La Fontaine, Jan Oyebode, Jacqueline Parkes
First published: 07 December 2020