Memory and Dementia Assessment Services
We provide Memory Services and Dementia Assessment Services throughout Sussex.
We are here to provide early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care if you, or someone you care for, have difficulties associated with dementia.
Our services differ slightly between areas, so please choose the area that you live in. In some areas we are not responsible for the memory assessment services and in these areas we have indicated the responsible provider.
We can all experience memory problems from time to time however, if you begin to experience memory loss and disorientation, or notice subtle changes in your personality, we may be able to help. It can often be the case that you are not aware of these changes yourself but they are noticed by family or friends who know you well.
Diagnosing dementia accurately and early helps to ensure that people can access the treatment, support and advice they need to stay well and live independently for as long as possible.
In these services we are unable to see people who:
- Already have a dementia diagnosis, or where dementia is not one of a number of diagnoses to be eliminated
- Have suspected alcohol-related cognitive (relating to memory, learning, thoughts) difficulties and are still drinking
- Do not consent to a referral to the memory assessment service
The best way to access our service is through your GP. They may ask you to complete a short memory test, to have a blood test and to give your permission to refer to you to our service. You may also be offered a brain scan which often helps us to decide if dementia is the cause of your problems or not.
Once we receive your referral we will send you some information about our service and some forms to complete. We may contact you by telephone to ask a few simple questions and explain the next steps. We may also ask if we can speak with a relative or friend as this may be very helpful in understanding your situation.
We offer a range of options for your appointment, including telephone call or face to face in a clinic or occasionally, at your home. You are likely to see a nurse and a doctor in the course of your assessment. In some services, you may see different professionals.
When you arrive for your assessment we will talk you through what is going to happen. We will also check that you have given your consent for the assessment to go ahead, and that you are well enough to either give or refuse your permission (also known as having 'capacity to consent').
You may be asked for your personal view of being referred to our service, as will the person who comes along to the appointment with you. You will be asked some questions about your personal and social circumstances, and your work history. We will also ask more specific questions about your memory and mood. Finally, you will be asked to confirm whether you give consent for a CT brain scan (or in some instances an MRI head scan may be of greater value).
At the end of your assessment we will give you written information about what is going to happen next.
Some people may be asked to attend a CT or MRI scan appointment. Please be aware that waiting times to receive the radiologist report from the scan can be up to eight weeks, depending upon other scanning demands in the hospital. Once we receive this report a member of our administration team will contact you to arrange an appointment to discuss the results. This may be referred to as a 'diagnostic appointment'. This can be face to face or by telephone.
After your assessment
If you receive a diagnosis of dementia you will be given verbal and written information about your diagnosis and the help that is available to you locally. Your treatment and support options will be discussed with your clinician, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and express your choices.
Our services are comprised of a number of staff with different roles, which may include:
- Psychological professionals
- Occupational therapists
- Community support workers
- Administrative staff
We are committed to improving the way we work with carers. We are a member of Triangle of Care and this page contains useful information and resources to help you if you are caring for someone with dementia.
Tel: 0333 150 3456
Tel: 0800 888 6678
Carers Support West Sussex
Tel: 0300 028 8888
Care for the Carers (East Sussex)
Tel: 01323 738390
Text: 07860 077300
Carers Hub for Brighton and Hove
Tel: 01273 977000
Uckfield Community Hospital