"visit to memory clinic"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Mental Health Services for Older People – Community (City)

(as a friend),

My friend has sadly died and so I am sending this on his behalf. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about eighteen months ago and was attending the memory clinic at Greenfields Health Centre. He asked me to go with him on these visits 'to tell me if it is as bad as I think'.

He found the visits to the centre depressing and this made him wary of accepting the opinion and advice of his consultant. I went with him on three occasions before he was dismissed and told that he should go to the Alzheimer's Society if he needed further help.

He was on medication and had a caring GP. I am sending this as I was appalled by the lack of concern for the waiting area and poor access to the clinic. The waiting room was completely without any thought being given to the needs of people who would have to sit waiting for an important interview having recently been diagnosed with a distressing condition, or to their carers. The room was bare, no pictures, not even leaflets let alone magazines and with chairs arranged facing the door. It was not well signed and on one occasion had a big advert in front of it that had to be wheeled away.

I have asked about whose responsibility it is to ensure that the premises chosen for memory clinics are suitable and was unable to get an answer. I am writing this to urge the Healthcare Trust to bear in mind how the waiting process affects patients and their carers and to ask that suitable premises and then suggestions as to how these should be well signed and made reasonably comfortable and attractive should be part of the process of monitoring and choosing suitable clinics.

The surgery itself seemed hard pressed and clearly did not regard the use of these rooms as its responsibility.

I am sorry that my friend's last year was not made easier by visits to the memory clinic because the surroundings and lack of a human touch on arrival there were so disconcerting.

Please could this be addressed - it would no involve more than a little thoughtfulness in terms of brightening up surroundings.

I hope other memory clinics are easier for people to visit.

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Response from Jane Danforth, Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Jane Danforth

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. I have passed on your story to the memory service and made them aware of your concerns.

Look out for a more detailed reply which will be posted on Patient Opinion soon.

Best Wishes


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