Dementia is not a disease, but a collection of symptoms caused by a number of different progressive conditions which affect the brain and the vascular system. It's characterised by a decline in mental ability which interferes with daily life. The most well-known dementia is Alzheimer's disease, with vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia (Pick's disease) and mixed dementia also common types.

The prime minister’s challenge for dementia included a commitment to increase the number of people living with dementia who have a formal diagnosis. The rationale being that a timely diagnosis enables people living with dementia, their carers and healthcare staff to plan accordingly and work together to improve health and care outcomes.

The likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age. One in 14 people aged over 65 has dementia. This rises to 1 in 6 for people aged over 80. [1]

Key findings - prevalence

  • Figures from the Primary Care Dementia Data show that on 31 March 2024 there were 11,416 known cases of dementia in the 65+ registered population across the Lancashire-12 area.
  • For Blackburn with Darwen this was 1,042, and Blackpool was 1,502.

The estimated dementia diagnosis rate (aged 65 and over) is a measure to show the proportion of people living with dementia who have a formal diagnosis. The higher the estimated proportion, the more likely a person has or is in the process of being diagnosed with dementia. The purpose of this is that a timely diagnosis can aid treatment and/or support and improve health and care outcomes. Significance is determined by the nonoverlapping of confidence intervals with the 66.7% benchmark. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have an impact on the number of people with a timely diagnosis of dementia.

  • In the Lancashire-12 area, 68.8% of patients aged 65 or over, who are estimated to have dementia, had a recorded diagnosis of dementia on 31 March 2023; England's estimate was 63.0%. 
  • Blackburn with Darwen (68.4%) and Blackpool (67.6%) are similar to the goal of 66.7% and the England rate.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also provides comprehensive guidelines around health and social care needs for people with dementia.


For data and further information please see the dementia profile from the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities below.

For district data and full functionality of the Public Health England fingertips tool please visit the dementia profile web page.

Page updated May 2024