Helping primary care to support people with dementia


Clinicians can refer a person with memory problems to a consultant in a particular specialty, such as:

  • Neurologists who specialise in disorders of the brain and nerve pathways. Some neurologists have particular experience in diagnosing dementia especially young onset and atypical dementia.
  • Specialists in medicine for older people (geriatricians) who specialise in the physical illnesses and disabilities commonly associated with old age and in the care of older people. If the person who is being diagnosed has reached retirement age they may be referred to one of these specialists to see whether their symptoms are due to a physical illness, or to find out whether they are suffering from a physical illness as well as dementia.
  • General adult psychiatrists specialise in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health problems. A younger person may be referred to a psychiatrist to assist in the diagnosis.
  • Old age psychiatrists are psychiatrists who have further specialised in the mental health problems of older people, including dementia. They may sometimes also offer support to younger people with dementia.
  • There is a subset of psychiatrists who have specialist knowledge about people with learning disability to whom this group of patients with suspected dementia are referred.

Share this page




  • Dementia UKDementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia. The charity provides Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses who provide practical and emotional support to family carers of people with dementia.2nd Floor, Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA020 7697 4160
  • Cognitive neurology and dementia centreThe Cognitive neurology and dementia centre at St George's Hospital is a regional specialist centre for cognitive neuroscience and dementia, that works closely with other hospitals from across South West London, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, and with GPs, community nursing teams, mental health services and social services.St George's Hospital, Blackshaw Road, London, SW17 0QT
  • Dementia Services Development CentreThe Dementia Services Development Centre is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia.Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland01786 467740