Winners of prize for dementia care announced


The winners of a new prize that recognises forward-thinking approaches to dementia care — the NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia — have been announced by sponsors NHS England and Janssen Healthcare Innovation.

Staffordshire’s ‘Memory first’, a comprehensive GP-led dementia service run by a consortium of 162 GPs across 41 local practices has been recognised as the gold standard in evidence-based integrated dementia care, securing the top accolade and a prize fund of £80,000 at the awards reception.Recognised by a panel of independent judges as a pioneering approach to joined-up care, the service has resulted in a reduction in diagnosis times from three years to four weeks and increased detection rates from 38% to 100% of predicted cases. Paving the way for change, the initiative has also led to major improvements in terms of user experience for the consortium’s 280,000 patients.

A first-of-a-kind collaboration between NHS England and Janssen, the Dementia Challenge was launched in February this year for those working at the frontline of dementia care to share their first-hand accounts of this life-altering condition. Through this process, better-integrated care was identified as a key theme and a prize pool of £150,000 was provided for solutions that improve care and make a real and sustained difference to the lives of those affected by dementia.

Sharing joint second place, and awarded a prize of £35,000 each, were the NHS teams behind the Greenwich Advanced Dementia Service (GADS) and the Early Intervention Dementia Service (EIDS) in Worcestershire. GADS has been helping people with dementia to remain in their own homes and maintain improved quality of life, as well as reducing carer stress. The new multidisciplinary model has saved up to £265,200 per year on reduced care home costs and hospital admissions. EIDS has been applauded for having helped 2,000 patients in Worcestershire to get a more timely diagnosis and facilitating greater choice for patients in terms of their care. 

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: ‘With the G8 Summit in London on 11 December, it’s important that innovation sits at the very heart of the way health and care services work. We have seen some inspiring examples demonstrating how care for people with dementia can be transformed. Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face both nationally and internationally, and I am delighted that the UK is leading the way forward for innovation to deliver better care.’

Picture: _ricky@flickr

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