NHS Innovation Challenge Prize For Dementia: Winners Announced

The winners of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia have been announced. The £80,000 top prize was awarded to Memory First, a new integrated dementia service, run by a consortium of 162 GPs across 41 practices in Staffordshire. Its pioneering joined-up approach to care has cut diagnosis times from 2 1/2 years to 4 weeks and led to major improvements in patient experience.

Dr Ian Greaves who led the development of the Memory First service said:

With an ageing population the old models of dementia care are no longer sustainable.

Keeping the patient under the responsibility of the GP, supported by secondary care expertise when needed, is a paradigm shift. The engagement of all 162 GPs across the 41 practices in the area was key.

The other 2 winning schemes, awarded prizes of £35,000 each, are the Greenwich Advanced Dementia Service, which is helping people in the borough remain in their own homes for longer, and the Early Intervention Dementia Service in Worcestershire, which has already helped 2,000 people in the county get a more timely diagnosis.

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.

The prize, which is part of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prize programme, was designed with the input of more than 90 members of the dementia community. They concluded that a more integrated approach could radically improve quality and outcomes. The prize aims to recognise and reward forward-thinking approaches to joined-up care for the people with dementia