Video: what makes the service different?

This video is an interview with head of service Jason Wilcox, about what makes the Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Service different.


Video transcription

TITLE: What is the memory assessment service here to do?

Jason: The Memory Assessment Service is a clinical and support service that’s integrated. And our service purpose is written from the patient’s perspective, and that’s ‘to help me and my loved ones get the care I need to live my life well’.

Our function is to assess, diagnose, treat and support. And we do them in a slightly different order to traditional memory assessment services.

TITLE: Why we do things differently

Jason: Our service went through transformation in 2017 when we undertook a systems thinking approach to a Memory Assessment Service. And prior to that, we were commissioned to be a clinical model first and then deliver post diagnostic support.

What our systems thinking process did was put patients at the heart of our view, and their loved ones, and then we brought the experts in the system who were the people who worked in the service every day, and our commissioners to really ask people what was important to them, what they needed, and how might we then meet the need.

TITLE: What’s different for patients?

Jason: The different experience that our patients will have is that they will be speaking to their Memory Support Worker at the point of referral, and they will build a relationship with that worker. The Memory Support Worker helps them to understand what the service can deliver and the benefit of engaging with us.

But also, we know that the health care system is complex. We know that many good services are out there, but they’re siloed and our Memory Support Workers help them navigate that system as well.

And the added value that we have is that because we are an integrated system, our Memory Support Workers will travel with that patient as they travel through the clinical and support service.

So when it comes to care planning that named Memory Support Worker will be the person
having those conversations about what’s next, what’s the future holding for you?

TITLE: How does this influence performance?

Jason: Like most memory assessment services we have our LQRs (Local Quality Requirements), which are focused on the DDR (Dementia Diagnosis Rate), patient journey times, they’re the key contractual ones that the whole system looks at. And what we’ve seen that our model can achieve is that when it was commissioned in 2013, DDR was in the 30s and by 2017 it was in the high 60s. So it had been really impactful and successful.

Patient journey times, traditionally they were taking a year in secondary care, when MAS by 2017 had them to ten weeks from referral to diagnosis. Pre-COVID we were one of the highest performing services. Patient journey times were swift and our DDR was in the low 70s, and it was climbing while the national trend was a declining one. So those measures,
is we know that they can deliver what the system needs.

TITLE: How does good performance influence patient experience?

Jason: What’s new in our system is that we have the focus on quality of life. For us as a provider, what’s the point of diagnosing people if you’re not going to be helping them in their quality of life and providing treatment and care? And I think the value of having an integrated system is that MAS can do the clinical stuff and it can also do the support aspects.

We have a strong narrative that we deliver personalised care, we improve people’s quality of life and our LQR really says that 75% of people have reported a maintenance or improvement in their quality of life. And I think working in the field that is dementia, that’s progressive, I think that’s really fantastic results.

TITLE: Lifelong care for all our patients

Jason: We’re now a support service for life. It allows MAS to have the space and time with our patients to really deliver on the future planning and advanced care plans for our patients.

So our ambition is that in the next year that we will start to incorporate advanced care planning into some form of our memory service offer.

TITLE: Listening to patient voices is at the heart of the service

Jason: Within Brighton and Hove there’s a high population of people who identify from the LGBT community and we’re working with the LGBT Switchboard for Brighton and Hove to really undertake a year long project to really understand what our patients need, but also how a system needs to be personalised to the people it serves.

We know that health care systems are designed to treat and access the masses, but actually within the LGBT community there’s a real need for people as they travel through the system to have it personalised, particularly people from the trans community and how dementia may affect them, or cognitive impairment.

We’ve anchored ourselves to that system redesign and our purpose and everything that we’ve delivered from that point is due to the voices of our patients.

And to me that I think that is the driver to a continual improvement, to really being advocates for the people that we serve to really improve their quality of life and provision of what we deliver.


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