The aims of the Memory Clinic are:
- to give an in-depth assessment of the person’s memory function and cognition (thinking processes)
- to make a diagnosis
- to offer treatment where appropriate
- to provide advice and where necessary put people in touch with other services within the community
The Memory Clinic is held on Tuesday mornings at the RICE Centre, Royal United Hospital. Bath.
We always like you to come with a relative or friend who knows you well. The tests and assessments that we carry out cover a number of different areas.
How do I make an appointment?
Normally your GP will refer you to the Memory Clinic. He or she will carry out preliminary assessments including blood tests. You will then be sent a letter from the Memory Clinic with an appointment which will include information about the clinic visit and how to find the clinic.
What will happen when I get to the clinic?
When you first arrive, the receptionist will show you where you may wait. The clinic always likes you to come with a relative or friend who knows you well. You will normally be seen by a nurse, a doctor or psychologist. They will spend some time talking to you and, if you agree, your relative or friend, to try and get a good idea of the difficulties you are experiencing. Current and past medical problems will also be discussed, as these may impact on your memory problems.
As memory and thought are such complex matters we will need to check by asking a series of questions that assess memory and thinking processes. Your relative or friend will also be asked whether they have noticed any changes.
The clinic is involved with training of students. If you do not wish to have a student present during your appointments, please let a member of staff know when you arrive.
What do I need to bring?
If you need spectacles for reading or use a hearing aid, you should bring these with you. Please also bring details of any medications that you are taking.
How long will I be at the clinic?
The first visit usually lasts between 60 to 90 minutes. At the end of the visit you will be told how you have done and if and when you need to be seen again. It may be that a brain scan or other tests will need to be arranged and these are usually done at the RUH within a few weeks of your appointment.
What happens after I have been to the clinic?
After each assessment a letter will be sent to your GP to let him/her know the results. You will be offered a copy of this letter. The first follow up appointment is usually after 8 - 12 weeks. At this visit your situation will be reviewed, more tests may be carried out and the results of your assessment, diagnosis and any possible treatment will be discussed. Sometimes you will need to be seen for a few visits over a period of time before a diagnosis can be made.
What treatment options are available?
There are medicines for certain types of memory problems. They may not help or suit everyone who takes them. If you are started on treatment you will be monitored regularly (sometimes with the assistance of your GP) and medication will be continued only if it is helping. Practical ways of helping with your memory problems will be discussed with you.
If you live in the Bath area and would like to attend a Memory Clinic please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01225 476420 for further information or to make an appointment.