New guide to support development & improvement of memory services

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The Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University has been commissioned by NHS England and Improvement Cymru to develop a practice development and innovation guide for Memory Assessment Services (MAS).

The Taking Memory Assessment Services into the Future good practice guide was developed with people who have accessed MAS and with experts in professional roles in or related to MAS services. It will help MAS who wish to develop their practice to identify areas that they might seek to improve and ways they might approach this. It is designed to be used flexibly by the services and to inspire them and encourage innovation and shared learning.


Download Taking Memory Assessment Services into the Future

Joanna is caring for her husband Ananga who is living with dementia. She welcomes the guide –

“Anything I think that helps doctors to look at it not from a medical perspective but holistically from a people perspective is really, really brilliant. Anything you can do to help them see us as people not statistics would be fabulous. I’ve had periods where quite frankly I could just sit and cry because I didn’t know where to go, who to talk to, what to do and if it weren’t for outsider organisations, I don’t where we’d be. I think if we can put a good guide together that lets them realise we’re not statistics, we’re real people trying to have a real life and dealing with something that we know is not easy to deal with, that would be wonderful.”

Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health for NHS England and Improvement said –

“Improving the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers is a priority for NHS England. It is our ambition that, as a minimum, two thirds of people with dementia should receive a formal diagnosis and accompanying high quality post diagnostic support. A timely diagnosis and support are key aspects of improving the quality of care for people with dementia, their families, and carers. For many, assessments and diagnoses begin in memory clinics where they can have access to a multi-disciplinary team. Our aspiration is that by showcasing this good practice, it will inspire others and lead to lasting improvements in care for people with dementia, their families and carers.”

Professor John Boulton, Director Improvement Cymru and National Director of NHS Wales Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, said –

“There is a clear vision for Wales to be a dementia friendly nation that recognises the rights of people with dementia to feel valued and live as independently as possible in their communities. MAS play a pivotal role to ensure both positive experiences and outcomes are achieved for both the person and their supporter. “All nations, organisations and partners, working together, by sharing innovation and improvements, will achieve better experiences and outcomes for people diagnosed with dementia and their supporters, which ultimately is what matters most.”

To accompany the guide Leeds Beckett University have produced podcast featuring Professor Claire Surr talking to people living with dementia and their carers about their experience of memory assessment services and the importance of continual practice improvement:


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