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National Dementia and Antipsychotic Prescribing Audit

People with dementia often experience symptoms that affect their behaviour, causing aggression, agitation and psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations. Some people with dementia are prescribed drugs to treat these symptoms called 'antipsychotics'. In some cases, antipsychotic drugs are the right treatment. But for many people with dementia they are not the best treatment and they can lead to serious side effects. The government has therefore committed to reduce their use for people with dementia.

What does it measure?

The National Dementia and Antipsychotic Prescribing Audit collects demographic and prescribing information on people with dementia from GP practices in England. The audit aims to provide a national picture of prescribing antipsychotic medication in people with dementia.

The data items collected include:

  • NHS number
  • patient date of birth
  • patient sex
  • patient postcode
  • GP practice code
  • diagnosis code
  • diagnosis date
  • prescribed drug (from the specified drug list)
  • prescribed drug start date
  • prescribed drug end date

The NHS number is essential for linking prescribing and complication data and allows the removal of duplicate records.


  • provides publicly available information on the current prescribing of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia and their carers
  • supports the government's commitment to reduce the inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medication
  • helps GP practices identify where services can be improved.

Who manages the audit?

In 2010, the Department of Health (DH) commissioned the NHS Information Centre to carry out a pilot DAP audit to generate data on the use of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia in each primary care trust in England.  Following the successful pilot, the audit was rolled out nationally in 2012.  In 2013 DH commissioned the Health and Social Care Information Centre to re-run the national data collection.

The DAP Audit is supported by the National Clinical Director for Dementia, Alistair Burns.

How is the data collected?

Data will be collected by automated extraction and MIQUEST query.

Audit results

The 2012 National Summary and PCT level reports can all be accessed online by following the link at the top of the page.  

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Last edited: 26 June 2018 12:19 pm