Last week I had a meeting with Margaret McHugh – Service manager for Hull and East Riding for the Alzheimers society. I wanted to understand what was on offer in the region and check whether I’d understood the NHS process for people with dementia as well.
Margaret kindly offered to meet me at the station and give me a lift to the office as it’s like the York office and not easily accessible for the public……..
Margaret went through the Society’s services – Memory cafes, activity groups and the Carers information support programme being mentioned but sadly these are all generic and there’s nothing specifically for Young onset.
They do have one to one support available from Dementia support workers.
NHS England agreed to fund Dementia Advisors in GP practices. With the help of the CCG they identified practices which had a GP with a specialist interest in dementia. They found 4 but none in my area, which is sad. So 4 GP practices in the whole of the East Riding and Hull have a GP with a specialist interest in dementia.
I don’t know why I’m surprised really. I know GPs have to have an understanding about everything but I would have thought this area had a high population of people in the critical age group. However, 4 is better than none and apparently services (even though there aren’t many) are much better than they used to be!!
One piece of information I did find quite shocking was that you can only access the only Memory centre in the area if you have a Hull GP………..😡
In this area, if people present with memory concerns, their GP does the initial stuff and then refers you to community mental health team. That team diagnosis – we don’t have memory clinic in East Riding.’ Memory assessment service’ (just a clinic not a building) is held in various location according to where you live – e.g. maybe Beverley community hospital – people are told about the existence of the dementia advisor service run by the Alzheimer’s society.
I’m sure a satellite clinic would not have the same access to information as the main memory centre…….
So that’s what happens to people who live in the area, however, the curve ball I seem to have thrown is how are people who move to the area treated – in my experience, not very well. No service exists for people with young onset dementia and it appears that they’re waiting for a crisis before I receive any contact……..