"Dad's dementia"

About: Field Road Clinic

(as a carer),

I recently attended with my dad the Elderly Persons Psychiatric clinic.

Previously we had visited the clinic to see the consultant but at the premises at Mill Lane, Wallasey. As Dad had been taking this drug for some time a consultant consultation was not required, as the medication was to be continued, we were referred to a clinic at Field Road, Wallasey.

The venue at Field Road is not centrally located, or near to where Dad lives so a car journey was essential. When we arrived we were fortunate that the one disabled car parking space was free. Dad's mobility is poor and if this space had been taken, parking space could have been a real problem.

We reported to reception, I sat Dad down and we waited. The area was quite dark, the seating adequate.

A lady approached us saying she would not be long, it was obvious she was dealing with another patient.

After a short time, the lady returned and took us to a large room. She introduced herself informally (which was fine) although she did not add her qualification and as this was our first visit, I did not realise she was not the doctor. She then proceeded to ask Dad the same questions that had been used at previous consultations. At the end of our interview she told Dad he was now to meet with the Doctor who would take his pulse and blood pressure.

It was during this conversation that I became aware of our surroundings. The room was quite large but unfortunately full of boxes which appeared to be patient files and looked more like a store room than a friendly interview/consulting room. The furniture was sparse and not particulary user friendly for an elderly person.

We then had to move to the Doctor's consulting room. Across the reception area, down a corridor and we sat down again to wait. Moments later the door opened and it was move again to see the doctor.

Previous repartee between the consultant and Dad had been excellent but i felt that this session was a prescription writing process with blood pressure and pulse measurements being the requirement.

By the time we had finished the whole affiar and I got Dad back to the car he was exhausted. Not only was he confused regarding the change of venue, he was naturally anxious about seeing a doctor. The movement from standing to sitting and the distance from room to room exacerbated the whole affair.

The best bits?

The lady interviewer was friendly and communicated with Dad well.

The worse bits?

The parking could have turned into a nightmare, the area is built up with two health centres opposite each other, so parking anywhere is at a premium.

What should change?

People with this kind of problem find it difficult to understand change. The change of venue was an issue and its associated difficulties, lack of parking, moving from room to room etc. could be addressed.

In this particular case, would it not be now possible for the GP to moinitor the patient? From the patient position, locality, familiarity to both surroundings and people would make this a more patient friendly and understandable experience for someone suffering from dementia.

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