There are an estimated 86,000 – 90,000 people with dementia in Scotland. These numbers are expected to double in the next 25 years. There are around 3,200 people with dementia aged under 65 (Alzheimer Scotland). Dementia costs the UK £26.3 billion per year. Family carers of people with dementia save the UK £11 billion a year. In a survey by the Alzheimer Society, 34% of people with dementia are not living as well as they could and they do not feel a part of the community. In the UK an estimated 40% of people with dementia live in some form of institutional care – this is higher than other countries.

It is estimated that people with dementia over 65 currently occupy 25% of acute hospital beds at any time. People with dementia generally stay in hospital longer, are more likely to experience falls, pressure ulcers or infections and have higher associated costs of care. Over a third of people with dementia who go into hospital from their own homes are discharged to a care home setting.

Service Description

Focus on Dementia is a partnership improvement across the whole pathway for people with dementia, carers and staff. 

The programme focuses on improving diagnostic and post diagnostic support, care co-ordination in the community, advanced care and improving dementia care in hospitals which includes acute general hospitals and specialist dementia units, Further detail about the programme can be found by downloading a copy of our brochure

One of the key qualities encountered by health and social care professionals, people with dementia and their carers and families is resilience. Our recent video seeks to explore some of the elements that support people's resilience, we encourage you to watch it. 



An external evaluation has been commissioned for the 8 pillars test site work which is due to complete at the end of August 2016. Whilst the 8 pillars work is focused on five Health and Social Care Partnership areas, we will continue to share our learning throughout this process, through our Focus on Dementia web pages. We will also be providing updates on our other workstreams on the website ihub.scot/focus on dementia.


Teams within health and social care partnerships, third sector, care homes and NHS boards, including primary care, acute care settings and specialist dementia units.

Benefits of programme

Focus on Dementia aims to build resilience for people with dementia and their families, avoiding crises including unnecessary admission to hospital and care settings. Where hospital admission in unavoidable, the care experience is safe, co-ordinated, dignified and person centred, ensuring seamless transition across care settings.


Michelle Miller