Psychology Chartered

Diagnostic Dementia Assessments

Specialist diagnostic assessments are undertaken by a Clinical Psychologist with knowledge and expertise in working with people with cognitive deterioration and associated psychological changes.  Their expertise includes:

  • Neuropsychology
  • Mental health conditions associated with later life
  • Psychometric assessment of cognition and emotion
  • Differential diagnosis of dementia
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What is it?

Diagnostic assessment typically includes detailed clinical interview, discussion with relatives and formal cognitive assessment. It can also include liaison with medical practitioners.

The outcome can include feedback, prognostic and management advice, psychological treatment and referral on to other professionals or services

More Information

HPC Registered clinical psychologists with specialist knowledge and expertise in work with older adults with neurological conditions deliver this service across a range of environments including inpatient and community rehabilitation settings and outpatient clinics across the south of England.

Depending upon the presentation, our service includes formal and informal cognitive assessment, neuro-behavioural assessment and intervention, assessment and delivery of evidence based psychological therapies for individuals, families or carers. It also includes advice and consultation to medical teams, rehabilitation professionals and families. Given the long term nature of many dementias, review, longer term monitoring and reassessments are offered.

What are the benefits to the client & referrer?

  • Provision of specialist reports to clients and referrers
  • Provision of ‘base-line’ assessment enabling close monitoring of condition, reassessments and reviews
  • Augments and compliments medical investigations providing broad, comprehensive analysis of symptoms and diagnostic precision
  • Supports early diagnosis and appropriate/cost-effective clinical management, treatment(s)
  • Early intervention/assessment reduces anxiety and distress associated with waiting list delays
  • Enables appropriate treatment of conditions such as depression and anxiety
  • Psychological interventions provided for cognitive problems, adjustment to change and end of life issues
  • Helping partners, families and carers understand and manage cognitive changes
  • Assist with supporting independence and maintaining people in the community

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if I need to see a Clinical Psychologist?

    You might be ‘referred’ by a health care professional (e.g. GP, nurse, or medical consultant), after experiencing cognitive changes, changes to your behaviour or other difficulties. You can also ‘self refer’ by contacting us and requesting an appointment although it is often very helpful to be referred by your GP or a professional who is familiar with your background and difficulties. Following referral, an appointment is usually offered to undertake an assessment. This assessment could help clarify the nature and extent of the changes, management/treatment options, advice and support.

  • Who will I see?

    You will be seen by a qualified Clinical Psychologist, with specialist experience of undertaking diagnostic assessments with older people. They will be registered with the Health Professions Council.

  • What will happen at the appointment?

    The Clinical Psychologist will assess you, often in some detail. This is likely to involve asking questions about your symptoms/changes, the background to your difficulties, your thoughts/feelings about your situation or condition and how these might be interfering with your everyday life, in terms of relationships, activities and your day-to-day functioning. It is also likely to involve some formal cognitive assessment, providing more in depth information regarding your psychological processing.

    Your appointment is likely to take around 1½-2 hours but you will be advised on this prior to the appointment. It is often helpful to bring a relative or friend along with you.

  • What will happen after this appointment?

    By the end of the appointment a plan of action could be agreed with you about what options may be available. It is also possible that the psychologist will wish to find out additional information, with your consent. Other options might include:

    • Feedback to your medical consultant to contribute to broader medical investigations regarding your condition.

    • Recommendations for further appointments to explore the psychological changes and find ways of helping. This might include the use of specific psychological treatments including cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy and family based treatments.

    • Practical recommendations to help you cope with changes and risks.

    • Preparation of a letter/report to the referrer which you can request a copy of.

  • Could I get this service on the NHS?

    There are usually clinical psychologists in your local NHS Trust but your home address will determine what public services are available to you, where they are based and waiting times etc. You can often check this with your GP, Medical Consultant or we can investigate where you might find out this information.

  • Will my health insurance cover this assessment?

    Health Insurance policies are very different in the level of cover provided. Some policies also specify conditions that need to be met in order for cover to be granted. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have clarified this with your insurer before confirming any appointment offered.