Mental Health of Older Adults and Dementia

Services for the mental health of older adults and dementia (MHOAD) Clinical Academic Group (CAG) are managed within the Psychological Medicine and Older Adults Directorate. We offer a range of community and hospital based mental health services covering the London boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.


These include Community Mental Health Teams, Care Home Intervention Teams, memory services, psychology and psychotherapy services, home treatment teams, inpatient care, specialist care, and liaison services.


The CAG provides a range of education and training programmes, including a Band 7 development programme, medications management training for inpatient, specialist care and community staff, and simulation training.

Key education achievements include:

  • Successful bid in 2021 through Maudsley Learning to develop an online e-learning training package for delivering remote dementia care services


The CAG has world leading researchers in Parkinson's disease dementia/Dementia with Lewy bodies, the global epidemiology of older people’s mental health problems and the use of clinical informatics to inform research and service development.

We have a full-time specialist MHOAD pharmacist who has led work on developing a simple tool, the Anticholinergic Effect on Cognition score (AEC) for determining the cognitive side effects of physical health medications.

We are leading publicly funded randomised clinical trials and have a programme to improve recruitment of our Memory Service patients into clinical trials to develop and improve treatment for older patients with mental health difficulties and dementia, in line with the Government’s Dementia Challenge.

Our work in dementia has identified novel biomarkers for diagnosis and progression monitoring, new treatment and effectiveness trials, for example developing new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers based on the shape of the hippocampus to confirm diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stage, and trialling potential course-modifying drugs in patients within our memory services.  

Clinical Work

  • A palliative care group focusing on the physical and mental health of patients has won a health and safety award for reducing aggressive behaviour and improving safety on the unit. A video created by the group has been viewed tens of thousands of times, highlighting their compassionate care for deceased patients. 
  • Implementation of remote technologies to target pre-dementia stages and mild cognitive impairment, facilitating early diagnosis of dementia, improving patient outcomes, and preventing patients from falling through the gaps in the healthcare system. 
  • The Medichec tool used in pharmacy can be implemented nationally to determine the likelihood of negative reactions, particularly anticholinergic reactions, and is being utilised in memory services with the aim of expanding its use. 
  • Dementia strategy focus on improving care for BAME groups and digitally excluded with Black Thrive (vascular dementia). 

Mental Health of Older Adults and Dementia Clinical Academic Group Leaders

Dr Nicola Funnell, Clinical Director and Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS FT. 

Shorayi Nyamupanda, Service Director, South London and Maudsley NHS FT.