Mental health unit

Friarage Hospital


DL7 8SW.

Tel. 01609 763410


Our team offers a service to people who are:

  • concerned about their memory and cognition

  • and who have been referred by their GP.


There are many causes of poor memory and cognition. 

Some of the more common explanations are:

  • ageing
  • physical health problems
  • mental health conditions (including stress, anxiety and depression)
  • dementia (for example Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy Bodies)
  • other neurological conditions.

Why have a memory assessment? 

It is important to find out if you have a significant memory problem and if so, what the cause is. Sometimes this may be reversible or a treatment can be found.

You will be invited to an appointment where we will gather information to help us:

  • understand the cause of your difficulties
  • work with you to plan appropriate investigations, diagnosis, treatment and support.


Before your assessment:

We will ask you if you have understood the information in this leaflet and we will encourage you to ask any questions.  We will also ask you if you would like us to share any diagnosis that may be made with you.


What will happen at the memory assessment?

At your first appointment a member of the team will complete an assessment with you.  For us to properly understand the nature of your difficulties, it is helpful for us to interview someone who knows you well.   If you are happy for us to do this, please bring someone to the appointment with you.


How long will it take?

Your first appointment will take about two hours.

Assessment with doctor and nurse.


1    hour


Doctor and nurse discuss the assessment with the team. 

(During this time, we will offer you refreshments)


30 minutes

Doctor and nurse discuss the findings of the assessment with you.


30 minutes



What happens next?

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, we may offer you:

  • medical investigations
  • an occupational therapy assessment
  • further memory testing
  • refer you back to your GP
  • offer you a referral to other services.


Will I be given a diagnosis?

If a diagnosis is made we will be able to give you information about the help that is available to you, including:

  • accessing support
  • legal advice on matters such as lasting power of attorney
  • qualifying for benefits
  • planning for the future
  • treatment.


We will draw up a plan of treatment and care with you. 

Sometimes drivers have to inform the DVLA about their diagnosis. This does not mean that you will have to stop driving immediately.  The DVLA sometime request a yearly update on your memory problems. 

If the diagnosis is unclear you may need further investigations. 

Further follow up appointments will be made with the service.


The team

The team is multidisciplinary and includes the following health professionals:

  • psychiatrist specialising in memory problems
  • mental health nurses 
  • clinical psychologist
  • occupational therapist
  • physiotherapist
  • speech and language therapist
  • dietician.

The clinicians who may be involved in your assessment will be identified on your appointment letter.


All of the information you give us is confidential however the results of the assessment will be shared with other members of the team who may be involved in your clinical care, including your GP.

Get involved and make a difference

As someone being seen by the memory service, you and your family are experts by experience and your views and personal experiences are valuable to help us to shape and improve our services. See leaflet L429 How to get involved and make a difference for more information.

How to find us

We are based at:

The mental health unit
Friarage Hospital
DL7 8SW 

Tel. 01609 763410

Pay and display car parking is available at the main hospital entrance.

To arrange hospital transport please Tel. 08450 567 060

 Reference:      L512
 Version:  V6
 Date last updated:     26 / 05 / 2017
 Archive:  26 / 05 / 2020