Assessment and diagnosis
Early or timely diagnosis of dementia is a priority area of action of many national dementia strategies or plans and this is the case for both ROI and NI. Different approaches can be taken to support dementia diagnosis. A Briefing Paper on Dementia Diagnosis, issued while the Irish National Dementia Strategy was in development, focuses on the lessons to be learned from countries proactively encouraging a more timely diagnosis of dementia. Not everybody with dementia receives a diagnosis of dementia, or at least a timely diagnosis of dementia. Evidence that became available for NI and other regions of the UK during the period under review, but is not yet available for ROI, highlights not only the diagnostic gap but also how widely its varies across different parts of the UK, leading the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia to investigate this discrepancy further and to make specific suggestions for NI around dementia diagnosis. Similarities and differences between the socio-demographic characteristics of people attending two memory clinics, one from each of the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, were revealed by another study (Barrett and Savage, 2010), which also has implications for research and policy. A more recent paper by Berber (2015) focuses on diagnosis in an acute environment and highlights the importance of engaging with family carers.