Spotlight Session 2: Dementia – Post-Diagnostic Support App; Scottish Ambulance Service – Drug Harm Reduction; Supporting Children and Families – the Development of a Mental Health and Wellbeing Resource Catalogue during COVID-19

Dementia – Post-Diagnostic Support App

In line with the Scottish Government commitment, everyone newly diagnosed with dementia in Ayrshire and Arran is offered post-diagnostic support (PDS), co-ordinated by an appropriately trained link worker. 

Local PDS services have traditionally been delivered on a face-to-face basis by local mental health teams, Alzheimer Scotland Link Workers and social care staff. However, as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions, the opportunity for people with dementia and their families to participate in person-centred, face-to-face PDS on either a one-to-one or group basis has been severely restricted. 

The National Coronavirus (COVID-19) - dementia and COVID-19: action plan includes evidence that virtual PDS has worked well during the pandemic and that more blended PDS service models may be required for the future. 

This session will look at how NHS Ayrshire and Arran established a working group to develop the Dementia: PDS App, which was launched in February 2021. The group was led by the local Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant, working in partnership with people with dementia as well as local health, voluntary sector and social care staff.
Delegates will hear how the App complements existing PDS services by extending access to information, resources and dementia support services. The launch of the App received widespread interest – and perhaps the greatest endorsement of its potential is the initial positive response it has received from local people with dementia and those who support them. 


Susan Holland

Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant, NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Susan Holland is a registered mental health nurse and is very proud to have worked in her current role as Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant (ASDNC), for NHS Ayrshire & Arran since 2017. 

Scottish Ambulance Service – Drug Harm Reduction

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has a presence in every community in Scotland. As part of the contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s population, SAS has embarked on an ambitious project working with Scotland’s Drug Death Taskforce. 

In 2019, the Scottish Government established a Drug Death Taskforce to identify priority areas to tackle this public health emergency. The Scottish Ambulance Service plays a significant role on the Taskforce working with partners to meet key objectives – through education, collaborative working, engagement and contributions from those with living and lived experience.

Due to the demand from people experiencing overdose from drug use across our communities, SAS is focused on what it can do to positively influence a reduction in drug deaths across Scotland. 

In this presentation, delegates will hear how SAS can connect individuals with the right care and recovery services – providing vital support to not only the individual, but the wider family and friends network.

Delegates will also learn more about Scotland's National Naloxone Programme and its role in tackling drug-related deaths in Scotland. 


Julie McCartney

Clinical Effectiveness Lead – Drug Harm Reduction, Scottish Ambulance Service

Julie McCartney joined the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) in January 2021, with sixteen years’ experience of the delivery and management of front-line drug treatment and harm reduction services, in Edinburgh.

Mary Munro

Clinical Effectiveness Lead – Drug Harm Reduction, Scottish Ambulance Service

Mary Munro came to the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) with experience in various substance use settings including: research, education, third sector and clinical nursing roles.

Lauren Sloey

Clinical Effectiveness Lead – Drug Harm Reduction, Scottish Ambulance Service

Lauren Sloey comes into her role with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) with great pride, bringing experience in addiction nursing, psychological trauma recovery and drug harm reduction.

Supporting Children and Families – The Development of a Mental Health and Wellbeing Resource Catalogue during COVID-19

NHS Lanarkshire Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is committed to providing a mental health service that is accessible, collaborative, effective and equitable. CAMHS had to rapidly review the model of provision and find innovative ways to meet the needs of families in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, whilst keeping these priorities in mind. 

Alongside this, the service was acutely aware that the closure of schools and community resources and reduced access to formal and informal supports in place for children and young people was having a substantial impact on their emotional wellbeing. 

In response to the pandemic, there was a rapid development of online, printable and phone-based resources for emotional wellbeing for young people. In April 2020, five trainee psychologists were tasked with collating information on the different resources available for Lanarkshire families. They developed a user-friendly online and printable catalogue with easy to navigate categories, with a broad focus across physical and mental wellbeing. 

The catalogue has been used extensively within the service to support families and has been shared across NHS Lanarkshire and more widely with other NHS Boards. This presentation will include an overview of the catalogue followed by discussion on the key learning points and how it might support service recovery and re-design.


Dr Laura Doran

Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Lanarkshire

Dr Laura Doran is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), in NHS Lanarkshire.

Anna Forbes-Gray

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinician, NHS Lanarkshire

Anna Forbes-Gray has recently completed a MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People, at the University of Edinburgh.

Hannah Ross

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinician, NHS Lanarkshire

Hannah Ross currently works as a Mental Health Clinician in the Neurodevelopmental Service for Children and Young People, in NHS Lanarkshire.