Staffordshire’s ‘Memory First’ has been recognised as the gold standard in evidence-based integrated dementia care as winners of the inaugural NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia.

The awards, created by Janssen Healthcare Innovation and NHS England, aim to recognise and reward forward-thinking approaches to dementia care.

Watch a video about the 'Memory First' service below:

The panel of independent judges recognised Memory First, a GP-led service run by a consortium of 162 GPs across 41 local practices covering some 280,000 patients, as a pioneering approach to joined-up care. It was awarded it the prize of £80,000 for reducing diagnosis times from three years to four weeks and increasing detection rates from 38% to 100% of predicted cases.

Speaking about the awards, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: "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."

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.