Need advice regarding responsibility of diagnosis.

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by CharlotteJane, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. CharlotteJane

    CharlotteJane Registered User

    Sep 7, 2015
    My Gran is 90 years old and over the past 18 months to 2 years she has developed short term memory loss. To the untrained eye she has all the symptoms of the early onset of dementia. I am concerned for her safety, she currently lives in a 3 bedroomed house alone. She is very independent and does not require any help washing, dressing etc, but she does need checked on daily. My family live around 30 minutes from my gran, but she has a lot of very good friends but it is a lot to ask of them to check on her everyday. She is very social and likes to go out with her friends etc, so a care home would not be suitable.
    My mum has been trying to organise a memory test with the GP and long discussion with social services to try and organise a carer to check on her daily. This has not been very successful as after a memory test carried out this week the GP has now stated it has not his job to make any referral regarding care or even to diagnose Dementia or what ever this is. I really need some help as to what to do? Whose responsibility is it to diagnose my gran so that we can get her some help and support at home for her.
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    The GP should make a referral to the Memory Clinic where further tests can be taken and hopefully a diagnosis be obtained. I don't know whether it's legally negligence for him not to do that, but morally it is, so go back and insist on a referral - maybe try and get a different doctor.
  3. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    I agree the GP is the person who has responsibility to arrange the memory test, so think he's trying to fob you off. Be insistent and as suggested see a different GP maybe a female maybe more sympathetic, but not necessarily.

    One idea for you to consider as your grandmother has a lot of friends could one friend call in on a Monday, another on a Tuesday etc. like a rota but not a burden on one person just once a week is manageable maybe? How about sheltered housing bring an option, or a Careline being fitted so in case she needs somebody she can use the pendant to make them aware.

    If she does get her memory test, afterwards I would arrange an assessment for her so that she is on social services radar before things get worse and be aware that if the test comes back with the dementia you are expecting you can apply for 25% of her council tax once it's in writing.

    Keep fighting her corner. Let us know how it goes please.
  4. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    #4 count2ten, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
    The GP has overall responsibility for his/her patients and you can request a referral to whichever specialist services you feel your relative needs. It is usual practice for GPs to refer to hospital services, community mental health or to social services for an assessment of need or for treatment. The GP would not diagnose dementia (although many of them make these judgments , often unfounded) but the mental health team would assess and then any formal diagnosis would be down to the consultant psychiatrist who is part of the team. Any treatment for memory or other mental health problems would be managed by the CMHT. If you don;t get any joy with the GP, go back to the local social services who have a duty to assess someone's needs and to provide services to meet those needs, including referring on to the CMHT if any mental health needs are identified. Make sure you attend the assessment by social services and don't be fobbed off. Your mother also has the right to a carer's assessment and under the Care Act can be provided with services to meet her needs, for respite or whatever she needs to support her caring role. I'm sure there are others here who will be able to offer other solutions, but hope this helps a bit - you're not alone and there are lots of organisations out there to help you get what you need from the system. Best wishes.
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Charlotte, welcome to TP
    Never heard anything like it before:confused: If it isn't the GP's job then who's job is it.
    He won't refer her to the memory clinic, why? Is he one of these stakeholder GP's so it might cost the practise money? All very strange.
    You don't say what specific needs she has, short term memory loss is often just a part of the aging process, it's one of the things that seems to go first.
    What do you want Social Services to do, if you want a daily visit then unless your gran is very badly off money wise she'd be expected to pay for the visit (about £15 a visit is a figure I've seen more than once). You could ask the SS to do an adult assessment and legally they have to do one, there are key phrases like "vulnerable adult" and "at risk" and if they drag their feet then complain, SS hates being complained about.
    I hate to say this but where Alzheimer's/Dementia is concerned the NHS doesn't really want to know, other than prescribing Aricept or Donepezil medically there's nothing else to do.
    SS will get involved if she's at risk but if she has money they'll expect her to pay and if they judge she's better off in a home they'll expect her house to be sold to pay for the care, I hope you have a Power of Attorney in place, if not I'd be cautious how I dealt with the SS, usually they try and pass it all to the family but if you resist that then they can "take over" and unless you have a POA there's very little you can do as it all goes out of your hands.
  6. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    I agree that the GP is buck passing.....of course it's his job to refer for testing.:eek:
    My only other useful comment would be to point out that being in a CH does not mean that she would not be able to go out and Mum did for quite a while after she took up residence.:D In fact a lot of homes and SWs would agree that contact with friends is a vital part of living well with Dementia.
  7. CharlotteJane

    CharlotteJane Registered User

    Sep 7, 2015
    Thank you :)

    Thank you for replying to my post. After a long discussion with the GP a referral to social services has now been made. Fingers crossed everything works out. I feel it might be a very long process though.
  8. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    I would say that at her age she might not necessarily need a diagnosis to get help. What about bypassing the GP and asking social services or adult services or whatever they're called in your area to do a needs assessment? They're obliged to do one if asked.

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