Transforming Kingston Memory Clinic | Latest News

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Transforming Kingston Memory Clinic

It is a beautiful crisp morning in Tolworth, sunlight beams through the windows of the Kingston Memory Clinic, lighting up freshly painted walls, eye catching and stylishly comfortable chairs, flourishing plants and bespoke artwork.

If a diagnosis is received, the relevant advice and tailor-made care planning required to support them with their diagnosis is provided in the clinic with the close involvement of our Dementia Advisor from the Alzheimers Society.

Dr Vanessa Loftus, Consultant Psychiatrist, said:

This is the proudest I have ever been of an NHS environment.

The clinic receives around 90-100 referrals a month, seeing over 20 patients a week, usually referred by their GP. The primary goal of the clinic is to provide a holistic patient centred memory assessment and to ascertain whether a patient has dementia.

One patient named David tells me, ‘It’s a wonderful use of the space, it’s been totally transformed so the clinic is completely fit for purpose. Look at these lovely chairs – they don’t feel like I’m in a care home - while waiting for my appointment.’

The chairs are just part of the transformation which was led and driven by Dr Loftus. Upon returning to the clinic after the Covid-19 pandemic, it became clear that a refurbishment was needed to create an environment that matched the service provided by the clinic. ‘Being absent for a while due to Covid, when we returned, we could really see the clinic was feeling a bit tired and improvements were needed.

At the beginning of the planning stages, we conducted a walking audit with our local Dementia Friend Lead for Kingston, starting from outside the hospital site, to the clinic from the main road, into the building and then of course the facilities inside assessing what improvements were required to acquire Dementia Friendly Status.

As a result, we have much improved signage, a photo of the clinic entrance in our appointment letters to help people find us and vitally, two car parking bays prioritised purely for our Memory Clinic patients and carers.’ Even the small tweaks have contributed to major improvements in the patient experience before they even set foot into the clinic for their appointment.

Inside the clinic the codesign continued, after collecting views from patients and their relatives for two years about what they would like to see. The artwork (produced by Dr Loftus in her spare time!) is of local landmarks which was what patients wanted to see – A0 size framed sketches they can immediately recognize, relate to which make them feel more at ease. The chairs have wooden knobs which provide something tactile to grip to if patients are anxious and the plants throughout create a relaxed and calming environment.

Of course, welcoming environments aren’t just important for patients and carers, facilities we can be proud of create a happier workforce. Support Administrator Gerald welcomes me and shows me the renovated waiting room, proudly displaying thank you letters and compliments - he echoes the praise provided by visitors and explains, ‘It is night and day to the old facilities. It is a wonderful environment to work in and we are very proud of the service.’

This project has been fulfilled in partnership between the Trust and the Trust Charitable Fund. The South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust Charitable Fund works in partnership with the Trust to invest in and promote projects that will make a tangible benefit to staff, service users and carers in South West London. We are Making Life Better Together by supporting initiatives, raising awareness, and breaking down barriers for our communities in South West London.

Our Charity exists to fund the people and projects striving to improve care, support recovery and prevent mental illness. We support initiatives that add value above and beyond the limits of what can be funded by the NHS and go the extra mile in improving people’s lives.

In order to keep supporting projects, we rely on charitable donations, and for people to fundraise for us. From challenging yourself to cycle from London to Brighton or hosting a cake sale – there are lots of way to support us.




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