New memory clinic at Sidmouth’s Stowford Lodge

Friday memory clinic aids those with dementia concerns

A NEW memory clinic is up and running every Friday at Sidmouth’s Stowford Lodge.

It has been based on a model that has been successful in other parts of the county.

Mental health nurse Andrew Moore-Jones, who leads the service, explained: “Early intervention is a key element of the national dementia strategy and, like any other illness, the earlier we are able to diagnose dementia, the more we can do to help people enjoy a good quality of life.

“We have been running the new memory clinic every Friday since the end of last November and we have received very encouraging feedback.

“More than 100 referrals have come into the service from Sidmouth and the wider East Devon area.”

People usually visit the clinic twice, once for staff to make an accurate assessment of the person’s memory, and a discussion with a relative/friend to gain their perspective on the situation.

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“ A nurse, psychologist and consultant psychiatrist are always involved in the assessment process, which may also involve scans or other tests,” said Mr Moore-Jones.

“At the follow-up visit, the results of the assessment are discussed…a diagnosis is given and a plan is made for what needs to happen next, and this will usually include a discussion about treatment and medication.

“In due course, we expect to set up another new group for those people with mild to moderate memory problems that have attended our memory clinic.

“This group will focus on strategies and techniques to help people manage their own memory difficulties. They have proved very successful elsewhere and we expect each group to run for around four weeks.”

*Next week we look at the work being done to offer more support to carers of people with dementia and hear from Iain Tulley, chief executive of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.