The first wave of UK memory services have been
accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for their
achievements in meeting best practice standards.
Two memory service teams from Mersey Care NHS
Trust - Mossley Hill Hospital’s Memory Service and Aintree/South
Sefton Memory Service - achieved ‘accredited with excellence’ and
‘accredited’ respectively, after participating in the
Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP).
Thirteen NHS memory services based in the
North West of England participated in the pilot phase of the Royal
College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement
accreditation programme. The pilot was funded by the Care Service
Improvement Partnership (CSIP) and local teams rated themselves
against a set of best practice standards for the assessment and
diagnosis of memory problems/dementia.
Improving services for people with dementia
and their carers is a national priority. Involving memory services
in continuous quality improvement initiatives, such as MSNAP, is
one way to drive up standards and to guarantee that quality remains
a local, as well as a national, priority.
An external peer review team, consisting of
medical and nursing staff, informal care givers and people with
dementia, visited each service to ensure that the service’s
representation of their practice was accurate.
Dr Anna Richman, Consultant Old Age
Psychiatrist from Mossley Hill Hospital said: “There is a lot of
work involved in going through the accreditation procedure, but it
makes you stop and look at your practice and what can be improved.
We have developed leaflets and information sheets for service
users and carers as a result of the accreditation procedure
and reviewed the support provided to service users and
carers. We have looked at staff training issues, GP training
issues, documentation in case notes and even the availability of
Trust policies online. All of the improvements made have been
received well, and some have led to changes made across the Trust -
not just to our memory service. This can only benefit service users
Dr Deep Majumdar, Consultant Old Age
Psychiatrist from Aintree/South Sefton Memory Service said: ““It
was an excellent opportunity to evaluate our memory service against
standards set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for
Quality Improvement. Our existing practices were strengthened by
recommendations made by peers and it was a useful process which has
been well received by all staff. These processes will become
increasingly important in the future, particularly when dealing
with commissioning authorities. We aim to maintain the high
standards of treatment provided by our memory service to all our
patients and carers in Liverpool and Sefton.”
Professor Martin Orrell, Chair of the
Accreditation Advisory Committee for MSNAP said: “With the release
of the National Dementia Strategy there has never been a better
time to focus on improving the quality of dementia services. This
programme of accreditation will ensure that memory services in the
UK retain and enhance their position as some of the best in the
Due to the success of the pilot and the
enthusiasm of memory services, MSNAP became available nationwide
from June 2009. Forty services have subscribed to the programme so
far, with the next wave of services expected to be considered for
accreditation in early 2010. The Royal College of Nursing, the
College of Occupational Therapists and the Alzheimer’s Society are
partners on the national programme and will be joining the Royal
College of Psychiatrists in recognising the important work being
carried out by high quality memory services around the UK.
For further information, please
McLoughlin in the Communications Department.
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 07738 349070
MSNAP is managed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI). The MSNAP central team are now recruiting memory services to join the national programme. Further information, including the first edition standards, can be found at www.rcpsych.ac.uk/memory-network
Note to editors:
Best estimates suggest that the number of UK residents with dementia stands at 700,000, with 570,000 of these living in England. Currently, the cost to the UK economy of caring for people with dementia is £17 billion a year. In the next 30 years, the number of people is expected to double, and the associated costs treble to over £50 billion per year. Memory services offer timely assessment and diagnosis for people with memory problems (including dementia) and their carers within a multidisciplinary setting. They provide a cost-effective way of increasing the number of people seen for early diagnosis and intervention and help to reduce the stigma associated with dementia and its consequences. Having an early and clear diagnosis will help to reduce the number and length of acute hospital episodes and delay the need for admission to long-term care. The pilot of the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP) was funded by the Care Services Improvement Partnership North West (CSIP NW).