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Crucial dementia health service wins top Team of the Year Award

The Memory Assessment Service (MAS) has been recognised for its specialist service to assess, diagnose and treat dementia in Wrexham and Flintshire.  

The team, made up of six nurses, three Health care support workers and two occupational therapists won Betsi Cadwaladr’s University Health Board’s Team of the Year at this year’s Staff Achievement Awards 2023, held at Venue Cymru on Friday, October 20th.  

The referrals to the team have continued to rise each year, almost doubling since 2015. They have adapted well to cope with the increase in care needed, and through small innovations have consistently improved the service for patients and their families demonstrated through the positive feedback and thanks received. 

Michaela James, Memory Service Lead, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic most members of the team were redeployed to support the acute mental health wards. Following the return to our service there was a backlog of referrals of people waiting. Staff worked extra clinic days on weekends to accommodate the extra need and were able to reduce the waiting times back to pre-pandemic wait times within three months. 

“Since the pandemic the team have adapted to make use of technology to offer people appointments via telephone or online, and they have developed a new triage system to ensure timely delivery of service and that the wider needs of patients and their carers are being met. 

“Every person referred to the service now receives a telephone call from a nurse within two days of their referral to advise people of the next steps and offer any information or signpost them to ensure all care needs are covered.” 

The team supports their patients after diagnosis with individual personalised care, and offer interventions within people’s homes and community therapy sessions.  

Michaela added: “Furthermore, our staff continue to support people with dementia who may not be open to our service anymore, but give advice or help them complete forms and paperwork such as DVLA/blue badge forms or applications for benefits.  

“Behind the scenes, following the introduction of the All wales dementia care standards in 2020 the team have spent the last year engaging in events throughout wales as the ongoing transformation of MAS continues.” 

Jez Nash, Chief Executive for overall award sponsor Centerprise International, said: “In our sixth year sponsoring the BCUHB Achievement Awards, I continue to be impressed by the outstanding commitment of NHS staff in North Wales.  They are innovative in their approach to care provision and demonstrable relentless compassion for their patients and colleagues.

“We were delighted to share the occasion with the 500 NHS staff at the awards, and proud to be able to continue our association with a great night celebrating their efforts.

“Huge congratulations to everyone shortlisted at this year’s awards.”