The Wakefield Memory Service, based at Fieldhead has been recognised as continuing to provide excellent services to local people by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The service is run by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.
The memory team offers a specialist service for local people with dementia, their families and carers by enabling improved access to assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support. At the same time the team works hard to raise awareness of dementia and reduce the stigma associated with illness and its consequences among the community.
The service has been accredited as excellent by the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP), which is a quality improvement programme developed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists designed to recognise good practice in memory services at the same time as supporting local clinical and service improvement in line with national standards.
In order to decide if the Wakefield Memory Service met the required standards assessors from the MSNAP visited the team and studied the environment, quality of records, interviewed staff and met with service users and carers.
Based on the results of the visit, self– and peer-reviews the memory service was recommended for accreditation with excellence, the highest level achievable by the MSNAP Accreditation Advisory Committee (AAC). The service was also ranked 3rd nationally in the overall assessments and 1st for meeting Type 2 standards relating to a "good service".
Head of Service, Professor Steve Curran said, "The feedback was extremely positive and we have been given the top rating as well as coming 3rd nationally, which is a great achievement for the team. Ultimately we hope that by achieving this standard this will help to further improve the memory service and in particular the quality of care and support for both people with dementia and their carers. Of particular note was that carers described two of our nurses ‘as being like their best friends’."
The service is currently supporting a national campaign that aims to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of dementia. The ‘Dementia: Early Signs and Symptoms’ campaign targets the family and friends of people at risk of dementia telling them what to look out for as they are likely to be the first to see the signs and can encourage their loved one to see their GP.
Figures show only around 40% of people with dementia in England receive a formal diagnosis meaning almost 400,000 people could be going without the vital support of services such as the Wakefield Memory Team.
For more information about dementia contact your GP or visit www.nhs.uk