team to win a Dementia Quality Improvement AwardNational recognition has been given to staff at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust for three prestigious awards.

The Trust was part of a team to win a Dementia Quality Improvement Award on the back of a pioneering project to support diagnosing people with dementia. The joint work between Bradford District Care Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust took place in memory clinics, and has focused on the use of PET (positron emission tomography) scans in difficult-to-diagnose patients.

Dr Gregor Russell, Consultant Psychiatrist in the memory service at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sometimes after undertaking routine assessments in clinic, and carrying out a ‘structural’ imaging scan such as  an MRI or CT scan, we are still unclear if a person has dementia or not. Tests can come back negative but patients can still have symptoms suggestive of dementia.  By having access to a PET scan we have more information to confidently diagnose if a person has dementia or not, and also to help distinguish between different types of dementia.”

The specialist brain scan measures brain activity and identifies deficits which can be present if someone has a dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The research showed that, following the PET scan, there was an impact on the support and treatment the individual patient received in four out of five cases.

Dr Russell added: “Although the scan is only needed for a small number of people, for these people it can be very important. It can help us to either reassure people their memory problems are not caused by dementia, or confirm a diagnosis and allow people to receive the treatment and care that they need. Either way, it can avoid the need for a long period of follow up observations, with all the uncertainty and worry that this involves. This is a significant improvement in the service available to people attending memory clinics in Bradford.”

Consultant Radiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Fahmid Chowdhury, who has led the development of this new service said: “We are confident that the success of this service will open further opportunities for us to continue to develop the very latest state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging tests in dementia”.

Also receiving a great accolade at the Trust is Carla Smith, Clinical Lead for District Nursing. She has been given the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse (QN) by community nursing charity, The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).

The title is awarded for a commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership. Nurses who hold the title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, networking opportunities and a shared professional identity.

On receiving her award Carla said: “It’s really exciting and a great honour to have the Queens Nurse title.  I really hope the award helps to promote and celebrate the good work that is carried out by district nurses across Bradford and Airedale.”

Additionally, two members of the Trust’s learning disability team, Noel Brown and Andrew Birkenshaw, have been announced as finalists for the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2016. The awards celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and aim to pay tribute to those individuals who excel in providing care.