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NSFT dementia expert shortlisted for lifetime achievement award

​A Consultant Psychiatrist with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has been shortlisted in the lifetime achievement category of the Dementia Care Awards 2017.

Hugo de Waal, who is based at the Julian Hospital in Norwich, has been named as one of just three finalists in the prestigious awards, which are designed to celebrate excellence in dementia care.

Dr de Waal was nominated for the accolade by NSFT colleagues and staff at the South London Health Innovation Network’s Healthy Ageing Team, where he was a clinical director until January 2017. The nomination was supported by fellow clinicians, as well as carers whose loved ones have received care from Dr de Waal.

He was nominated for the significant contribution he has made to improving dementia care across the country by introducing new innovations, redesigning services and providing training for clinical colleagues.

Examples include setting up NSFT’s Dementia Intensive Support Team and the Dementia Intensive Care Unit at Hammerton Court, both of which have received national and international recognition for helping stabilise people and get them back into independent care settings. In addition, Dr de Waal is widely published and has supported staff at all levels with their professional development.

Dr de Waal is also an advocate of the ‘Music Mirrors’ initiative, which was developed by NSFT volunteer Heather Edwards to help people reminisce and communicate. Thanks to Dr de Waal’s leadership, Heather has trained 182 health and social care professionals in south London to use Music Mirrors, which led to the tool being named as a finalist for the Guardian Innovation in Mental Health Award 2017.

Dr de Waal’s main proposer said: “Hugo has demonstrated a passion for and commitment to supporting people with dementia throughout his career. He has made a positive difference to thousands of individuals with dementia and their families, as well as making lasting significant contributions at local and national levels to dementia policies and strategies.”

Dr de Waal said: “I am delighted, honoured and humbled by this nomination. It was completely unexpected, but it goes without saying that there is nothing more satisfying than seeing one’s work receiving such recognition, particularly from those who live with dementia each and every day.

“Of course, none of these achievements would have been possible were it not for the support and contributions of all those I worked with. They are as much finalists as I am!”

The awards will be presented during a celebration dinner on Thursday 9 November at the Doncaster Racecourse.

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