Memory Assessment Service (MAS)
COVID-19 service update: offering assessments and treatment via telephone and video calls, where possible, but face-to-face appointments can be arranged.1
Dorset HealthCare (DHC), NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Help & Care and Age UK are delighted to announce the launch of the new dementia services pathway from 1 April 2021. The Alzheimer’s Society Memory Support and Advisory Service (Memory Gateway) will cease as of 31 March 2021.
Following the recent dementia services review, a number of new services will be provided, and existing services will offer increased support for people with dementia as well as their families and carers.
Dementia services include:
- memory assessment service (DHC) – for the assessment of memory problems and diagnosis of dementia. This will now include dedicated neuropsychology for more complex diagnoses. In addition, this service will offer emotional wellbeing courses for carers.
- dementia co-ordinators (Help & Care) – providing post-diagnostic support for people with a diagnosis of dementia, and their families and carers. This will include a dedicated Early Onset (younger) Dementia provision, as well as Dementia Roadshows offering information on dementia to local people and agencies.
- cognitive stimulation therapy (Age UK) – an evidence-based therapy for people with a diagnosis of dementia (any sub type).
All new referrals for an assessment and diagnosis of memory problems (possible dementia) for people aged over 18 will now be made directly to the memory assessment service (MAS). There will be a single point of access (SPOA) for referrals to MAS. The MAS SPOA number is 0300 303 5342.
The MAS team comprises registered nurses, an occupational therapist, neuropsychologists, non-medical prescribers/advanced nurse practitioners and psychiatrists. All staff will offer a range of possible options to complete assessments and diagnostic work and these will be discussed with you before appointments.
MAS expects that physical checks are completed before referral to rule out any reversible causes of memory problems.
People are seen in a variety of settings including clinics in hospital, GP surgeries or at home if there is a reason they are unable to travel to clinic. We are also able to offer virtual appointments.
The team will complete a thorough assessment of cognition and effects on functioning. If necessary they will refer for a CT brain scan and in the cases of younger people or more complex presentations they will request an MRI scan or neuropsychological assessment for a more in-depth assessment. At all points the GP will receive copies of letters.
The clinical staff are skilled at assessment and there will be a clear plan of care given to the patient in letter form.
The team will refer onto other agencies and liaise with carers/supporters of the patient as needed.
If the individual is prescribed medication we will monitor this and feedback to the GP after three months.
The Single Point of Access phone number for the whole of MAS is 0300 303 5342
For refererrs other than GPs using SystemOne referral forms, there is a referral form that should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org - the temporary form can be accessed here MAS External Referral Form.
Please note to refer to MAS you must be:
- a registered professional
- have discussed the referral with the person's GP
- ruled out any other mental or physical health cause for the cognition change
- able to provide comprehensive blood test results dated within the last six months.
Where to access the service:
Referral through GP or self-referral to the Memory Gateway.
Memory Assessment Service (Poole - Alderney Hospital)
Disabled Access: Yes1