East London Foundation Trust - MAS Luton

Memory assessment service (MAS) is a part of the community mental health team (CMHT). MAS is modelled to assess and diagnose Dementia and to offer support / treatment after. The CMHT is to support, assess diagnose and treat people with functional mental health illnesses. The CMHT also support service users and carers with Dementia if behavioural and psychological symptoms occur. The team consists of Doctors, nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapist, psychologists and administrators.

Updated:
20 December 2016
Location:
East of England
Sectors:
Health
Local Alliances:
Luton Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Memory Assessment Service (MAS) has a pivotal role in helping people understand the changes that are occurring in their lives.  The focus of MAS is to assess, diagnose, treat and support. Through that process the person and their loved ones can then make sense, are educated and access services to support them.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Our service remains to operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. 

In Luton we have a diverse population which can at times be difficult to encourage into MAS. ELFT have started to liaise with GP’s to encourage referrals.

At times the quality of referrals to MAS is not adequate and has salient information missing. ELFT has sent to every GP correspondence illustrating what is expected. By the 1.12.16 if the information is not provided in the referral then the referral shall not be processed for MAS. A letter shall go back to the GP to explain this.

Sometimes there can be a delay in receiving the CT scans to aid diagnosis. ELFT have good liaisons with the CT scanning department.

Member website

www.elft.nhs.uk/

2. Actions

  • Access to timely initial assessment (within 6 weeks)

    We are going through a Quality Improvement (QI) project in which involves running “mini tests” to try and improve the timing of the steps of the Memory Assessment Service (MAS).

    One test shall be going back to non-medical clinicians carrying out the initial assessments rather than a doctor. This should be within 6 weeks; at that point the clinician can check that the CT scan appointment shall be attended and make a judgement whether the service user requires Psychology and or the Occupational Therapist. It shall also measure the level of risk so that appropriate referrals can be made to support the Service User and carer.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Access to a timely diagnosis (within 12 weeks)

    Through our QI project we shall be liaising with GP’s and the CT scanning department so that investigation results are sent in a timely fashion. The findings from Psychology and or Occupational Therapy shall guide the diagnosis and the level of risk again. If need be appropriate referrals can be made to support the Service User and carer.  This shall aid the diagnosis being delivered in 12 weeks. It will also influence an improvement in the service user receiving treatment.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • To offer post diagnostic visit support (PDV) to those living in the community with a diagnosis of Dementia.

    The volume of referrals to MAS has increased and therefore the amount of PDV’s has also increased. The timing of the PDV’s is not part of the QI project however consideration of to this has taken place.  MAS have been allocated a nurse from the community mental health team (CMHT) for 1 day a week which equates to 4 PDV’s a week.

    The other area in which we are going to try and improve the timing of the PDV is to offer a PDV group in a local church so this shall free up time for the Dementia Nurse Specialist.

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Referring/ networking to Luton DAA members

    Due to historical work in Luton the members of the LDAA have a well-established network and relationships among us all. The PDV completion gains consent from the service user and carer to make referrals to LDAA members. If they do not want referrals then they are left with details of LDAA members so they can access support in the future. To keep the networking going ELFT will remain to continue their communication with the members of the LDAA by attending meetings and arranging follow ups.

    Status:
    Being implemented