The North Bucks Memory Assessment Service, which works with over 65s who are worried that their poor memory may be a sign of dementia, has been given national accreditation demonstrating a commitment to high standards and quality of care.
The Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP) accreditation of the service assures patients, carers, frontline staff, commissioners, managers and regulators that the memory service is of a high quality and that staff are committed providing the best quality of care.
The North Bucks team are a diagnostic service who manage around 40 new referrals a month which come through mainly from GPs and other healthcare professional services. Out of these referrals around two-thirds of these who attend clinic receive a diagnosis of dementia. Key medical history and medication are very important in considering both diagnosis and treatment.
It focuses on the importance of treating each patient as an individual and ensuring their needs are met mentally and physically. It also highlights the achievements of the team and recognises their continued hard work and commitment to the patients they see from day to day.
MSNAP is one of over 20 networks within the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement and aims to improve assessment, diagnosis and care for people with dementia and their carers. This includes timely and equal access to services, provision of evidence-based treatments, monitoring and follow-up.
If dementia is diagnosed early more can be done to delay progression of the disease. Additionally, knowledge of the diagnosis can reduce the numbers of people being admitted to acute hospitals as well as delay the need for long-term residential care and allow families to plan future medical care and finances.
Sam Robinson, Head of Service, said: “This really is fantastic news! It is an absolute testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and all those involved in this high quality service.
“It is a well-deserved accreditation for the team and also wonderful to receive such positive feedback from the patients and families who have had first-hand experience of the service. We are extremely proud of the whole team”
Following a 12-week self-review process, the service was visited by an MSNAP review team. Data was then submitted to a committee comprising members from the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Royal College of GPs, British Psychological Society, Alzheimer’s Society, and patient and carer representatives.
Phil Blunden, Dementia Nurse Specialist, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded accreditation. The north Bucks memory clinic staff have worked tirelessly to maintain the very highest standards within the service. This accreditation investigates almost every aspect of our work and we were particularly pleased with the positive feedback from the patient and family interviews.
“The approval of this accreditation acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the entire team and means that, following a comprehensive review by a team of independent professionals, those who use the clinic can be assured of a high-quality service. A huge note of thanks is extended to everyone who has worked so hard on this.”
Anyone concerned about their memory should be encouraged to visit their GP, who can carry out some preliminary investigations such as blood tests and a brief memory test, before referring on to the memory clinic if necessary.
For more information about the service click here and have a look at the video below.