Patients are usually referred to RICE by their GP with a suspicion of memory problems. The GP may conduct blood tests before referral to check other potential causes of memory problems. They may also order a head CT scan.
RICE checks the test results and orders any that are missing when you visit the memory clinic. There, we ask patients to undertake cognitive (thinking processes) testing and we take a medical history from you and anyone who comes with you to the appointment to form a picture about you and any condition you have.
The Memory Clinic assessment allows us to come to a view of a likely diagnosis and suggest treatment where appropriate. We see patients for follow up appointments if we have prescribed medication to ensure efficacy. We also follow up patients with mild memory problems if we suspect it may get worse in the future and they may develop dementia.
Patients with a diagnosis of dementia are introduced to a dementia support worker, who will provide follow up in the community. This may include help with benefits and entitlements, signposting to care agencies and community groups such as day centres and Singing for the Brain, and support for carers. They are employed by the Alzheimer’s Society and the local CCG, but work alongside RICE.
Once their time at the Memory Clinic is complete, patients may choose to join a research study or they may be discharged back to the care of their GP