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Memory services accreditation

One of the ways the Oxford AHSN Dementia Clinical Network has been working to reduce variation in memory services is by enabling six memory clinics in the Oxford AHSN region to achieve accreditation under the Royal College of Psychiatrists Memory Service National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP). The clinics we worked with are based in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire. The six clinics achieved accreditation in 2016 with all 12 in the Oxford AHSN region reaching this standard by January 2017.

The bar is now being raised with many of the current non-mandatory standards becoming mandatory. Clinics need to be reaccredited every two years. This project will include further work with the six memory clinics we worked with previously, to consolidate improvements and facilitate accreditation under the new more exacting standards. The aim is to achieve accreditation by March 2018.

Maureen Cundell, a memory clinic nurse in Oxford, is seconded to the Dementia Clinical Network for this project. As with the initial accreditation process, Maureen will promote cross-fertilisation of ideas and sharing protocols, as well as encouraging mutual support and a ‘learning cascade’ across the teams. New ways of working with service users and carers are also being planned. A video in which service users and carers describe what it’s like to attend a memory clinic has been released by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Maureen, along with psychiatrist Dr Chris Ramsay and nurse Clare Hamblin, presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ MSNAP Memory Services Forum in October 2016 on the network’s approach to facilitating accreditation. The presentation from this event can be found here.