Our standards

We write standards for memory services and review them regularly to keep them up-to-date. Our standards are based on the available literature and discussion with professionals and service users.

What are the standards for?

Our standards are used to review memory services across the UK and Ireland. The purpose of our standards is to improve the quality of care provided by memory services.

Reflecting the views of those in the field

We know that those who are in the field have the best understanding of the issues and challenges that they face in providing high-quality care. The standards are drawn from relevant policies, guidelines and research literature and have been developed in consultation with our members, our partner organisations and patient and carer networks.

Keeping up to date

We review the standards regularly to ensure that they continue to reflect developments in policy and practice and any issues identified through the accreditation process. A multidisciplinary standards development group, comprising of representatives from MSNAP member services, our partner organisations, and patient and carer representatives, is responsible for the revision process.

The Eighth edition standards were published in October 2022 and these will be due for revision again in 2024.

How we measure performance against the standards

The full set of standards and criteria is aspirational and it is unlikely that any service would meet all of them. Therefore, services are categorised against each standard at one of three levels:

  • Type 1: Failure to meet these standards would result in a significant threat to patient safety, rights or dignity and/or would breach the law. These standards also include the fundamentals of care, including the provision of evidence-based care and treatment. These standards must be met for a service to be accredited.

  • Type 2: Standards that an accredited service would be expected to meet.

  • Type 3: Standards that are aspirational or standards that are not the direct responsibility of the service.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry