The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on waiting times for memory assessments, with many memory service staff being redeployed and some services closing temporarily. Many people experiencing memory problems are now waiting longer for their appointments, prolonging the period of anxiety and uncertainty of unexplained symptoms.
DCAN, in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, has been gathering feedback from people with lived experience, carers and providers of support about their experiences of delays to memory assessment appointments during the pandemic and how this has impacted the need for and availability of support.
Feedback has shown that the pandemic has left people feeling disconnected from formal and informal support networks, and that this has negatively impacted emotional, cognitive, social and physical well-being.
The aim is to ensure people can proactively begin to prepare for the assessment and to help more people access support as soon as they need it, not only after diagnosis.
Next Steps hopes to do this by making it easier for people to learn what to expect at a memory assessment, by providing tools and resources to begin thinking about how they can continue doing what matters to them, and by connecting people to available sources of support.
To learn more, visit Next Steps where you can also download a printable guide.