Mental Health and Dementia




Local health statistics show that the population of Ash and its surroundings has a 26% rate of mental health disorders, including dementia.

The clinicians and staff of Ash Surgery are committed to providing excellent clinical care, support and signposting to other services to this important section of our population.



We are actively involved in screening patients with memory loss so they can be diagnosed and treatment can be started with multidisciplinary input.

In addition to specialist medical input, we are aware that Dementia patients and their families benefit from community services.


Alzheimer's Society

The Society is the UKs leading Dementia support and research charity. It  is useful for those suffering any type of dementia, and to their families, friends or carers.

For further information phone 0330 333 0804, or phone the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 or visit the Alzheimer's Society website. This site has up to date information on services available locally both for the afflicted and their carers.


This Is Me Leaflet

The Alzheimer's Society has developed a useful leaflet that can be used in the event of an acute admission to hospital, or transfer to an unknown place of care. Patients with dementia, and their carers, find such situations acutely stressful It is clear that, for those involved in offering them further care, such information is very useful in achieving a successful stay.


Age Concern in Sandwich

has daily activities at the Sunflower Centre from Monday-Thursday and a club for those with mild dementia on a Friday. This center offers transport and daily activities, along with visits from Chiropodist, Hi Kent (Hearing aid checks) and other support services.

For further information on Age Concern Sandwich Dementia Services please visit their website


Admiral Nurses

Admiral Nurses are mental health nurses who specialize in dementia care and work with health and social care professionals, as well as with voluntary organizations to improve the experiences of those with dementia and their carers. They can be contacted by phone (0845 257 9406), email ( Full details are available on their website

Following diagnosis all GP’s take on an active role in monitoring the condition and in maintaining and promoting general health and well-being. We undertake annual reviews, to ensure medical and social care needs are being met.

We are keen to gather and maintain information, particularly contact details, of those that are involved in helping to care for those with dementia. Of course, this is only done with the carers consent.

We keep a register of our vulnerable patients and, over the last 2 years, we have developed, care plans for them. With the patients, or their carers, consent, this allows us to share medical information across health teams- most importantly with out of hours providers. The aim of this is to improve continuity and accuracy of care in the out of hours period.

Recently we have undertaken a frailty review of our >75yr population. Frailty assessments, in the form of a Frailty Questionnaire, have been distributed and returned. In the group that are identified as particularly frail a further medical has been undertaken which screens for medical, psychological (including memory) and social problems. Those that are identified as having unmet needs are being referred, as appropriate, for further assessment or support.


Mental Health

The Surgery also provides care for patients with mental health problems ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia.

We also liaise with other services within the community to help the vulnerable and isolated people get support and guidance. These include Porchlight, and Turning point.

GP’s play an active role in identifying, treating and supporting those with mental illness. At Ash surgery we have a partner with a particular interest in psychological care. We hope to offer a holistic approach to aid recovery.

We have regular reviews of patients on repeat medications and have at least annual review for stable patients. There is also regular communication with tertiary providers and CPN’s.

Support groups in the area include:


Take off

This group aims to give a voice to users of mental health services, to make community care work, to educate the public and promote awareness of mental health problems. It runs a crisis café, and provide peer support groups and peer support brokerage. They are based at 34, Military Road, Canterbury CT1 1LT, or contact 01227 788211 or click here for further information


Live it Well

This website is designed to promote better wellbeing and mental health for residents of Kent and Medway, and to help people connect with support in their local communities. The website is packed with helpful advice and contacts for support and further information. Click here to access the service


Mental Health Matters have a free 24 hour helpline on 0800 107 0160


Useful reading and sources of information

There is further information for carers support groups on the website.