Dementia diagnosis tool pilot scheme

Dementia sufferer Wendy Sharps, 45, of Conisbrough. Picture: Marie Caley D1087MC
Dementia sufferer Wendy Sharps, 45, of Conisbrough. Picture: Marie Caley D1087MC

A woman who was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 40 has welcomed the news that a new memory loss pilot scheme is to be extended across Doncaster for another year.

The initial pilot of CANTABmobile took place earlier this year at the West End Clinic and Lakeside Surgery, and involved 45 patients.

CANTABmobile is a medical software device designed to give a quick and accurate assessment of a patient’s memory.

It is the first ever rapid, objectively scored touchscreen assessment to differentiate between patients with memory loss due to early signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and normal age-related forgetfulness.

The device gives GP practices the opportunity to offer their patients a test which can identify a potential cognitive impairment. The same test is also capable of identifying depression.

Wendy Sharps, of Conisbrough, who started experiencing memory problems at the age of 35 and was diagnosed with dementia when she was 40 said: “I would definitly welcome this, if something like this had been available whn I was going backwards and forwards to doctor’s appointment I definitly would have asked to do this.

“It’s about time there was something like this more should be done to help with diagnosis.

“When I was going to endless doctor’s appointments I thought I was going mad, I thought I had hypochondria or something because they couldn’t find anything wrong with me and kept trying to say it was stress or depression.

“This new technology sounsd like it would be really useful so people don’t have to go through this.

“I think the problem now is getting the word out that this new technology is available.”

GP and other practice staff from a further 24 practices will receive training and on-going support from Joanne Liversidge, RDaSH Primary Care Liaison Nurse for Dementia at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

Joanne said: “CANTABmobile is accurate, easy to use and quick to administer. The automatic scoring provides instant reports and gives peace of mind to patients.

“This will enhance the services we offer to our patients who have dementia, their family and carers.”