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A national survey of memory clinics in the Republic of Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2014

Suzanne Cahill*
Affiliation:
School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin and The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, Dublin, Ireland
Maria Pierce
Affiliation:
The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre's Living with Dementia Research Programme, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Vanessa Moore
Affiliation:
The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre's Living with Dementia Research Programme, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Suzanne Cahill, DSIDC's Living with Dementia Programme, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. Phone: +353-1-8964101; Fax: +353-1-8962914. Email: cahillsu@tcd.ie.

Abstract

Background:

This national survey investigates the location, resourcing, staff composition, treatments, waiting time, and numbers of patients attending memory clinics (MCs) in the Republic of Ireland. It also explores Directors’ attitudes to future service development including their views about the advantages and disadvantages of quality standards for MCs.

Methods:

An audio-taped telephone interview was conducted with the Directors.

Results:

A total of 14 MCs were identified across the Republic of Ireland, ten of which are hospital-based and most of which offer diagnostic services and are located in Dublin. Nine MCs are medical consultant led and operate under the direction of either Old Age Psychiatrists or Geriatricians. Results show wide variation regarding the location, team size, service availability, and numbers of patients attending. The average number of patients attending in 2011 was 126. Only six clinics employ dedicated Allied Health Professionals. Less than half of the clinics are research active. Whilst most Directors welcomed the availability of national standards, several expressed concern that standards might, in the absence of funding, result in the closure of the most poorly resourced services.

Conclusions:

This survey provides valuable data on the main characteristics of all of the 14 MCs delivering services in the Republic of Ireland and raises critical and fundamental questions about the goals and outcomes of MC services. The survey data collected can be used by other countries for cross-national comparison.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2014 

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