Thanks for the Memory Service

Our new Bromley Memory Service has been officially launched in the borough -  and already it is receiving plaudits.

We spoke to local GP, Dr Prema Reddy, who works at Elm House surgery in Beckenham. She said: "I've used the service before and it has always been well managed so I am looking forward to using this new enhanced service." 

The Bromley Memory Service is part of the Older People's Mental Health (OPMH) directorate. Estelle Frost, OPMH Service Director, welcomed the gathering of local GPs and Oxleas staff. She thanked the guest of honour, Deputy Mayor of Bromley, Cllr Judi Ellis, for visiting the Bridgeways Centre in Turpington Lane, Bromley on Wednesday. Also in attendance was our Deputy Chief Executive, Helen Smith. 

Estelle said: "We are here to showcase the expansion of our memory service. This building has been upgraded to facilitate that." And OPMH service manager, Anne Waterworth said the service receives about 100 referrals each month and that the team's caseload is increasing. 

Other members of staff also gave brief presentations, including Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Ana Saiz, who described the dementia pathway for GPs. 

Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Abi Fadipe said: "We have about 3,000 clients throughout the borough and we expect that number to grow. I am looking forward to the challenge of being involved in this new service, which I am sure is going to greatly benefit people who need to use it in Bromley." 

At the end of the formal part of the evening there was a question and answer session during which GPs and other members of the audience fired off questions about the new service to a panel of Oxleas' experts. 

The memory service provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment for people who experience difficulties with their memory such as dementia. It tends to see people aged 65 and over, though in some cases it sees younger people. 

Most patients are referred by their GPs after reporting a memory problem. These are not always the result of dementia and can be caused by factors like infections, depression and vitamin imbalance. 

To find out the cause of memory problems a number of assessments might include: a brain scan, a heart scan or an appointment at our diagnostic clinic. In some cases medical staff will ask patients to have a neuropsychological assessment and or an occupational therapy assessment to further assess a patient's memory and day to day functioning. This process can take about two months.

Published on 6th June 2013