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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, and in Essex.

Read the latest NELFT news, including information on our services, new trust staff, research and development of our services.

Havering Memory Service awarded with MSNAP accreditation

The NELFT Havering Memory Service was recently awarded with MSNAP accreditation by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Combined Committee for Accreditation. Out of the 220 memory clinics across the UK, only seven others have received the top level of Memory Services National Accreditation Programme accreditation. We took the opportunity to speak to two senior members of the service, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry Dr Jo Rodda and Clinical Lead Jonathan Clements, and asked them to tell us more about the team, the accreditation award and what it will mean for the team and the people of Havering.

Can you please gives us an overview of the Havering Memory Service?

The Havering Memory Assessment Service is a multidisciplinary team of nurses, doctors, psychologists and occupational therapists based at Yew Tree Lodge in central Romford. The team is led by specialist nurse Jonathan Clements and lead consultant Dr Jo Rodda. There are 17 people in the team at present (pictured), although many have roles in other teams also.

The memory service team works closely alongside their dedicated specialist colleagues in the Havering Older Adult Mental Health Team, whose work is integral to the function of the memory service and who share in the recent achievements.

The role of the memory service is to provide assessment, diagnosis, therapy and support for people with cognitive impairment and dementia and their families. The service runs a number of therapeutic groups including cognitive stimulation therapy and post-diagnostic support. There are close links to other medical specialties (e.g. neurologists) and also to community organisations who help to support people throughout their journey. The memory service has a role in education, which includes the co-ordination of a GP Dementia Masterclass for colleagues in primary care. The team is extremely fortunate to have Admiral Nurse Mrs Sam Ponting as a member, whose role is dedicated to the support of the families of people living with dementia: https://www.dementiauk.org/how-we-help/admiral-nursing

You’ve recently received MSNAP accreditation – what is this and why did you receive the accreditation?

The Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP) works with services to assure and improve the quality of memory services for people with memory problems/dementia and their carers. It engages staff in a comprehensive process of review, through which good practice and high-quality care are recognised, and services are supported to identify and address areas for improvement. Involving service users and carers in MSNAP is a priority, and it is endorsed by the Care Quality Commission. MSNAP is an initiative of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement.

What were the standards that the Royal College required to be met?

There are 200+ MSNAP standards varying widely from those that ensure that the basic needs of patients are met to those that enhance the overall experience within the service. The Havering Memory Service was not only accredited by MSNAP, but was recognised as meeting all of the standards laid out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Of more than 220 memory clinics in England, only seven others have achieved this.

This achievement is recognition of the incredible work of the Havering Memory Service team and the importance placed by NELFT on the development of services for people with dementia, as well as its support of innovation. Since the previous MSNAP accreditation two years ago (when the service was accredited as “excellent”) the memory service team have continued to strive to improve the service offered to patients and their families. A team away day helped to focus minds and share ideas, and new ideas are encouraged and discussed in every team meeting. Processes have been streamlined to make sure that people are seen as quickly as possible after referral and have to wait the minimum time to find out the cause for their memory problems. The service provides a wide range of tailored written information for patients and has strengthened links with other supportive organisations. A new website was developed with information about the service and general resources for older people and people with dementia www.nelft.nhs.uk/services-havering-memory

The service also worked with partners in the voluntary sector (Tapestry), on several projects including the provision of opportunities for ongoing cognitive stimulation therapy and support for isolated older people who need to access the service. Staff have regularly given up their time in the evenings to provide events for younger people with dementia and their families, who have a different set of needs to those a generation older, which are often not recognised. One of the memory service consultants, Dr Janet Carter, is a Senior Lecturer at UCL and has led the development of the Young Dementia Care Pathway on behalf of the Young Dementia Network https://www.youngdementiauk.org/young-dementia-network.

Occupational Therapist, Libby Brown, is an acknowledge expert in vocational rehabilitation for younger people with dementia and has been invited to speak about her work at a number of national conferences.

The Havering Memory Assessment Service is also recognised nationally for its work in the promotion of dementia research. The service works closely with NELFT Research and Development colleagues to ensure that every patient is offered the opportunity to be involved in research. A wide range of studies based in NELFT are open to patients, and the service has also been a pioneer of “Join Dementia Research”, a national initiative aiming to meet the Prime Minister’s Challenge of increasing the number of people involved in dementia research, to find better treatments, and ultimately a cure https://www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk Dr Jo Rodda is also the North Thames Clinical Research Network specialty lead for dementia.

Lastly, what does the accreditation mean to the team and NELFT?

The team is not resting on its laurels following its MSNAP achievement, and is working hard to maintain and improve on these high standards. There are plans in place to pilot a number of new initiatives, including “START” which is an evidence based programme to support the carers of people with dementia, and “BrainFit” which is a programme combining physical exercise, cognitive stimulation and dietary interventions.

If you would like any more information about the service, please see our website http://www.nelft.nhs.uk/services-havering-memory or call us on 0300 555 1135