Health services delivery

Designing and delivering award-winning memory assessment service

Service: Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Service  (MAS)

Partners: We are head contract holder working in partnership withSussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trustand theBrighton and Hove Carers Centre. 

Reach: Brighton and Hove population – c358K

Our innovative dementia service

Unlike other memory assessment services, we offer support from the point of referral to all. We provide a dedicated worker to proactively support each person in the service, starting with ‘what matters to you’ conversations and providing care navigation, social prescribing, and dementia-specific pre- and post-diagnostic support that includes Dementia Care Planning.

Operating as an integrated clinical and support community service, we measure our performance with a Local Quality Requirement (LQR) metric that measures people’s quality of life using the QOL-AD framework. We call this our ‘How Are You?’ questionnaire.

Brighton and Hove MAS impacts


DDR at March 2023

that’s a 3.3% in-year increase compared to the national average of 0.3%


improvement in DDR in ten years


of people who use our service tell us that they are maintaining or even improving their quality of life after being referred to us

We are proud that 73% of people who use our service tell us that they are maintaining or even improving their quality of life after being referred to us and that theCare Quality Commission commended our Memory Assessment Service for putting patients at the heart of what we do.

Jason Willcox

Head of Dementia Provision and Innovation at Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Service

How we deliver dementia services 

When we started in 2013, only around 30% of the population expected to have dementia in Brighton and Hove had a formal diagnosis compared to the national target of 66.7%. Patient journey times were between 1 and 2 years against a national target of 10 weeks.  

We redesigned the service, using a “systems thinking” approach that put patients and their loved ones at the heart of service design. We drew on the knowledge of people working in the service and commissioners to ask what was important. 

By doing so, we closed the substantial Dementia Diagnosis Rate (DDR) target gap we inherited in 2013 and reduced patient journey times from up to 2 years to 6.73 weeks pre-pandemic.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked hard to clear down accrued waits and by March 2023 had restored DDR compliance, significantly exceeding the national average with referral to diagnosis recorded at 20 weeks.


We now operate as an integrated clinical and support community service, bringing together clinicians from both secondary (nurses and consultants) and primary care (General Practitioners with Extended Roles) who work alongside support workers, offering a holistic and personalised service to patients and their loved ones. 

We believe this approach underpins the outstanding level of care that the CQC recognises in its rating, our consistently high levels of delivery against LQR performance indicators, and, most importantly, the way people who use our service tell us that we’re helping them maintain or improve their quality of life.  

Meet Elspeth, a Brighton and Hove Memory Assessment Service (MAS) patient, talk about her experiences of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease:

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