Dementia Web - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

DementiaWeb - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

Memory Clinics and Optima

Memory Clinics

Becoming forgetful does not necessarily mean that a person has dementia so it is worth discussing concerns with your G.P.

Making a diagnosis of dementia is often difficult, particularly in the early stages, so G.P.'s will often refer to a Memory Clinic for assessment. See Getting a Diagnosis for more information.

Memory Clinics operate throughout the county at main community locations and offer assessment, support, information and advice to those with memory problems and their carers.

How to get an appointment

Referral for an appointment is normally via a GP so that preliminary screening can be carried out. It is important that the doctor investigates and treats any underlying physical illness and is able to assess the features of the memory problem. If mobility or travelling difficulties are a problem, your GP can request that a specialist visits at home, rather than you having to attend an appointment at the Memory Clinic.

Aims of the Memory Clinic

  • Early identification of memory problems and any related disorders.
  • Comprehensive assessment and diagnosis.
  • Support and advice for patient, relatives or friends.
  • To consider a trial of medication.
  • Make available information about other service providers.

What happens at the Memory Clinic?

The first appointment may take between 1 and 2 hours. It is difficult to be precise about timing as all cases and circumstances are different and may need varying amounts of time.

This appointment involves a doctor or nurse talking with the patient and a relative (or close friend), who is able to explain the difficulties or problems being experienced and their effect on daily living. The team will carry out some tests to find out the strengths and weaknesses of memory, so it is important to take along reading glasses or hearing aids if these are used. It also involves gathering detailed information about the patient’s background, past medical history, any current medical problems and medications currently being taken.

By the end of the appointment the clinic team aim to have completed an assessment, discussed the results and helped plan any future treatment or care. Details of other services which may be helpful will also be made available.

What happens next?

A follow-up appointment will usually be made after three months to undertake a progress review. This appointment takes about half an hour and is an opportunity to discuss any concerns and assess the benefits of any advice or medication that has been given.

Further Information

David Janes or Brenda Green, Memory Clinic and Carers Support Worker Service Coordinators
Tel.: 01865 455816

The doctors you meet at Memory Clinic also work within the Community Mental Health Teams, and look after In-Patients on the Older Persons Mental Health Units. For more information about the In-Patient units visit the Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare NHS Trust website.


OPTIMA (Oxford Project To Investigate Memory & Ageing), is an Oxford University Research Project for people with memory problems, those with a diagnosis of dementia (e.g. Alzheimer's), and volunteer "controls" who are interested in contributing to research. Generally participants are aged 60+ years old. Support is provided to all participants and their carers, but medical management is retained by GPs/Consultants.

Referral may be via Consultants, GPs, CPNs, Memory Clinics, or self-referral.

Contact details:

Elizabeth King (Project Manager / Senior Research Nurse)
Radcliffe Infirmary
Woodstock Road

Open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
24 Hour On-Call service for project participants

Tel.: 01865 224356
Fax: 01865 224099

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