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Community Memory Assessment Service in East Suffolk

  • Many people experience problems with declining memory. The effects will vary from person to person and may occur for different reasons. The Community Memory Assessment Service (CMAS) is for people of any age who live in East Suffolk and have been referred by their GP due to concerns about their memory. The primary aim is to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of dementia.

  • Service Manager Lead: Melanie D`ardis Clinical Team Leader Charlotte West
  • Address:
    Mariner House,  Handford Road, Ipswich, IP1 2GA
  • Reception phone number: 01473 296194
  • Service hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 until 17:00.

What this service offers

Our Community Memory Assessment service offers help with the following:

  • Holistic memory assessment
  • Signposting to other support services
  • Diagnosis or non-diagnosis of dementia
  • Some post diagnostic psychosocial interventions.
  • Access to dementia medication if appropriate.

Access this service

Your GP will refer you to the service. They will check that your memory or other cognitive changes have been a concern for at least 6 months and are beginning to impact on daily living. They will also undertake the physical health checks needed. This is to ensure and if needed treat any reversible causes that may contribute to your memory concern.

Our service users can expect the following:

  • Our practitioners will contact you following receipt of the referral. This call helps us to gather more information and ensures that we are the right service to meet your needs.
  • You will be added to the appropriate initial assessment waiting list. Contact will then be made at a later date to arrange a date for an initial assessment. This appointment will be for around 90mins and includes a memory test.
  • Appointments are at various locations – see clinics offered below
  • A head scan at the local Nuffield Hospital in Ipswich maybe arranged following your initial assessment.
  • A further follow up appointment will be arranged to discuss the outcome of your tests and discuss whether there is a dementia diagnosis.
  • The offer of medication if appropriate dependent on diagnosis.
  • The offer to participation in a group as appropriate.
  • We may ask people to take part in service development/research.
  • If the assessment highlights further support is needed such as psychology or support worker, than this is considered on an individual need’s basis by the team.

People who use this service are then discharged back to the care of their doctor.

Due to our long waiting list, a referral is made to Dementia Connect (Alzheimer’s society). An advisor will be in touch to find out if you have any questions about your memory difficulties, the memory assessment process, or about support that may be needed while you are waiting for your appointment.  This advisor will be available to you throughout the process and following your discharge from the service.  Although you can choose not to accept this support, it can be a really helpful resource during a difficult time.  The advisors are available for the person living with memory difficulties and their caregivers and families.

Clinics offered by this service

Our Community Memory Assessment Service offers clinics in the following locations:

  • Constable Country Practice in East Bergholt
  • Framlingham Surgery – Framlingham
  • Framfield House Surgery – Woodbridge
  • Grove Medical Centre – Felixstowe
  • Two Rivers Medical Practice – Ipswich
  • Walker close - Ipswich
  • Mariner House – Ipswich
  • Stowhealth Medical Centre – Stowmarket.

This service also offers some appointments via video.

Visiting and onsite facilities

Parking is free at all the venues this service uses for its clinics except for Mariner House in Ipswich which is blue badge holder parking only. There is a pay and display car park available at Portman Road.

All clinics are accessible for those with a disability. Some need the use of a lift; others are on the ground floor. We discuss this with patients when we make an appointment.

How this service support carers including friends and family

Our Community Memory Assessment Service offers carers, friends and family:

  • Telephone liaison and attendance at all appointments with our patient’s permission
  • Individual psychological support, as appropriate
  • Information about how to access a carer’s assessment
  • Signposting to other local support services such as Dementia Connect.
  • Invitation to get involved and help shape the service for the future.

Urgent help

If you are a service user and are in crisis and need advice and support urgently you can contact your service on the number which will have been provided or own GP and/or alternatively call NHS 111 (mental health option) to speak to a mental health practitioner.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives.

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police.

For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS 111 on 111. 

For more information, see Help in a Crisis.

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