Closer to home memory assessment in Buckinghamshire

The aim is to adopt the Gnosall primary care based memory assessment approach (see below) to improve dementia diagnosis in harder to reach, particularly rural, communities in Buckinghamshire.

A new primary care based memory assessment function will focus on providing;

  • Improved access for hard to reach groups
  • Assessment closer to home within familiar surroundings
  • Rapid referral for specialist diagnosis and  advice
  • Post diagnosis support
  • Training for GP practice teams on identifying dementia
  • Increased awareness of dementia within wider  community health teams and care providers


Short term:

  • To increase the number of people with a confirmed diagnosis of dementia
  • To reduce delays in obtaining a definitive  diagnosis
  • To improve access to services for those in harder to reach communities
  • To create a community of practice ‘peer to peer’  trainers

 Longer term:

  • To reduce  financial waste through early diagnosis (across the health and social care system)
  • To clarify and strengthen the role of general practice across the county in the identification, assessment and diagnosis of dementia

 The Gnosall service

The award wining Gnosall dementia service is a primary care based older people’s mental health service that is designed to improve access,  to speed diagnosis and improve care for patients with dementia.   Based in a rural, primary care setting, outreach consultant-led clinics provide rapid diagnosis and cost-effective medical care. A summary of the basic features of the Gnosall service can be found here:- gnosall_memory_clinic.

 Anticipated outcomes

  • Diagnostic rates to reach 70{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of anticipated prevalence by 2015
  • Time between suspicion and diagnosis to be reduced to 6 weeks
  • A reduction in general hospital bed days for people with dementia (informed by Whole System Partnership modeling)
  • County wide uptake of the Bucks primary care dementia protocol
  • Reduced use of antipsychotic medication

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