A memory clinic is a dedicated medical clinic specialising in the assessment and diagnosis of memory disorders. Memory clinics were first seen in the UK in the 1980s, mainly in academic research centres. There are by 2009 approximately 246 memory clinics but there are no official NHS figures and no specific standards or set models relating to them. The National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People stipulates that every specialist mental health service for older people should have a memory clinic (article 7.49) but it gives no specific guidelines for establishing one.
There are many reasons why people experience memory problems. Commonly it is simply due to age but sometimes it can be caused by other conditions. These can include stress or the early stages of a dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of the Memory Clinic, which is part of the Devon Memory Service, is to discover the cause of your memory problem and to provide you with the appropriate information, support and treatment that you need to help you to live well an independently.