23 December 2015
C&I welcomed Ms Sophie Lohde, the Danish Minister of Health, and three of her colleagues to the Islington Memory Service last month to provide an insight into the dementia care we provide.
The service was delighted to be recommended by NHS England as the Danish government look at excellent models of dementia care in the UK to help them shape their own healthcare. The Danish government is aiming to create a national action plan to target this degenerative condition and expressed a specific interest in hearing more about the post diagnostic support that we offer.
The service was visited by members of the Strategic Clinical Network of NHS England as well as Sarah McClinton, Director for Mental Health and Disability from the Department of Health. Also present was Dr Daniel Harwood, Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Director for Dementia London Strategic Clinical Network NHS England. He discussed the UK's national plan for improving the dementia diagnosis rates explaining our partnerships with CCGs across England. He highlighted the ‘Gold Standard Service’ delivered by the Islington Memory Service which has surpassed national targets, and produced the highest diagnosis rate in London.
Nationally, the main focus next year will be on post diagnostic interventions. Dr Harwood applauded the Islington Memory Service for being one step ahead of the rest of the country having already established good post diagnostic support within our dementia pathway.
Our START programme, which is a programme for carers offering effective strategies for managing their relatives with dementia, was of particular interest to the Danish minister.
We were also able to present information about our Dementia Navigator service which provides an initial sign posting session for all who have a diagnosis of dementia and ongoing support to all those who are no longer in receipt of interventions from the Memory Service. They were particularly impressed with the ‘Risk Stratification Tool’ which determines the frequency of contact of the person with dementia and their carer.
Helen Souris, Clinical Team Manager of the Islington Memory Service, said: "We are very proud of this fairly new service within Services for Ageing & Mental Health as it ensures that all those with a diagnosis of dementia living in Islington have an equitable service and remain under our care. We are also proud to be acknowledged and recognised for the positive contribution we make for those with dementia and their carers within Islington."