Memory Protection Service – Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead – Patient information leaflet

Information for people attending the Memory Protection Service for assessment and diagnosis.

This leaflet may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without the permission of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

  • Introduction

    This leaflet provides you with information that you may find useful whilst attending the Memory Protection Service for assessment. If you are not sure about anything in this leaflet please contact us to speak to a member of staff.

  • Why have I been referred?

    Many people experience problems with a change in memory or thinking ability. The effects will vary from person to person and may occur for different reasons including depression, anxiety normal ageing and/or dementia.

  • About the Memory Protection Service

    We offer:
    • Comprehensive assessment and diagnosis.
    • Support and advice to people and their families about coping with a memory difficulty.
    • Treatments including medication when appropriate
    • Access to a range of non-pharmacological interventions such as support groups.
    • Access to good quality information given as a Personal Information Pack.
    • Access to other services able to provide help and support.
    • Contact for further assessment, information, help and support as needed even after you have been discharged.

    The Memory Protection Service covers 3 localities; Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead. Appointments are routinely available in primary care centres. Home visits will be offered to those unable to attend a clinic.

  • What are the advantages of having my memory assessed?

    The assessment may result in a possible explanation for the change in your memory or thinking abilities. Often people find it a relief to know what might be causing their difficulties and this can reduce any anxiety. This can also help you and your family access support, plan for the future and make adaptations in your life to make things easier.

  • What are the disadvantages of knowing what is causing my memory problem?

    Some people are very concerned by the thought of being told they have cognitive/memory problems. This is a normal reaction. Throughout the assessment staff will be happy to give you time to talk over your worries and concerns.

  • Who will carry out the assessment?

    The team consists of specialist trained clinicians, mainly doctors and nurses with different roles and expertise. You will see the person best able to assist you which may be one or more members of the team.

  • What will happen at the assessment?

    • A relative or close friend is encouraged to attend with you.
    • Please bring a list of any medication you are taking with you and remember to bring your hearing aid and spectacles (if worn).
    • On arrival at the clinic please report to the main reception.

    The full assessment usually consists of two separate appointments. At the first appointment we will gather information about your current memory difficulties and other concerns you may have. You will also be asked to undergo a specific assessment of your memory which will support us to understand your problems. After the first appointment you may require further investigations such as a head scan. This will be discussed and explained to you.

    At the second appointment the most appropriate clinician will discuss the results of your assessment and may give you a diagnosis. They will be able to discuss treatment and management options. In some cases you may require more than two appointments.

  • Who will be told the results of the assessment?

    The clinician will write to your GP or referrer to let them know the results of the assessment. You or a nominated family member will also be offered a copy of the letter unless you state otherwise.

  • What will be offered to carers?

    • The clinician will provide any practical and emotional support throughout the
    assessment and diagnostic process, should it be required.
    • Education and information delivered and provided in a range of formats as suitable and appropriate to each individual.
    • Signposting to additional statutory and voluntary agencies who may be able to provide suitable support.

  • Training and research

    The Memory Protection Service takes part in training doctors and other health professionals. Students and trainees may be present during appointments. If you would prefer for them not to be present please inform us.

    If you would like to participate in research about your memory we can give you information about potential studies, or with your permission can pass your details on to our research colleagues who will contact you directly.

    No research activity will be undertaken without your knowledge or consent. If you do not wish to be involved in or hear about research, your care will not be affected in any way.

  • Confidentiality and data protection

    We have a duty to keep information about you confidential. We make sure that we only share it with others who are involved in your in providing care for you such as your GP. We keep all information securely.

  • Interpreters

    Staff can arrange an interpreter if you need one. If an interpreter is required please let us know as soon as possible.

  • Travel information

    Contact Nexus Traveline: Tel: 0871 200 22 33

  • Ambulance transport and car parking

    Transport is not routinely available but may be arranged by contacting your GP four to seven days before your appointment.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email [email protected] Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    – the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    – complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • References

    • Carpenter BD et al (2008) Reaction to a Dementia Diagnosis in Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Volume 56(3), pp 405–412
    • Department of Health (2009) Living well with dementia: a national dementia strategy, London, Ch. 2

  • Contact details

    Memory Protection Service
    Tel: 0191 566 5422
    Fax: 0191 566 5433

    The Service is available during normal working hours Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2022 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/684/0622 June 2022 V4 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2025