Dementia United have supported the development of a new national best practice guide for Memory Assessment Services

Many people who receive a dementia diagnosis report feeling abandoned and unsupported. This new resource is going to help them by offering guidance to memory assessment services (MAS) who support people living with dementia

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

MAS provide specialist assessment, diagnosis and they support people with dementia and their families to access appropriate treatment, interventions, and support.

The research has shown that MAS often work differently across regions of England and Wales, including where they are hosted, staff roles and the services they provide.

Dementia United are involved with the project as part of an expert reference group hosted by Leeds Beckett University and commissioned by NHS England. The groups’ function is to identify good and innovative practice in service delivery across different Memory Assessment Service models; particularly good practice which has the potential to reduce unwanted variations in quality of such services.

Dementia United ensure that this work links to Greater Manchester Memory Assessment Services, they have also supported  people with lived experience of dementia across Greater Manchester to get involved in the project.

In the first phase of the project, which focused on identification of good practice in MAS guidelines, Dementia United contributed ideas and comments related to the following themes:

  • Ensuring the use of person-centred language
  • Enhancing our shared commitment to diversity and addressing health inequalities
  • Acknowledging sensory impairment issues

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. Joanna is caring for her husband Ananga who is living with dementia.

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