Occupational Therapy Home Based Memory Rehabilitation in Scotland – an update


The start of a new year is usually a time for reflection and thinking about the year ahead.    I have been reflecting on the work I have been involved in around enhancing access to the skills of the AHPs in the post diagnostic period (as per Ambition One of Scotland’s AHP dementia policy, Connecting People, Connecting Support, 2017).  Part of this work includes the Occupational Therapy Home Based Memory Rehabilitation (HBMR) Programme and I would like to share an update on where we are at in Scotland.


We are continuing to build on the great work which was originally developed and kindly shared by Mary McGrath (Belfast Health & Social Care Trust) and then the Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Occupational Therapy Service, NHS Dumfries & Galloway.  I will focus on our more recent work but background information can be accessed online, and here are two previous Blogs:



Previously, an initial national pilot was carried out, which involved 12 out of the 14 Health Board Areas across Scotland.  Further information can be found here:


On completion of the national pilot, we have been focussing on the following areas:

  1. Review of the HBMR resources

Powerful questions were developed in order to gather feedback around the original resources.  We received feedback from the OT clinicians involved in the pilot as well as people living with dementia who had experienced the HBMR programme (as they are the real experts).  A working group was established in order to build on the feedback as well as building on any new learning.  We have updated the paper based resources and developed a new ‘My Memory Book’ (for which the name can be changed depending on individual preference).

In addition to the updated paper based resources, we have also developed new electronic resources, which will continue to evolve.  We feel that this will enable us to ensure that HBMR can best be tailored to the needs of the individual person.

  1. Ongoing Sharing and Collaboration

There continues to be much interest in the HBMR work in Scotland and we have been fortunate to be able to share the work in various formats including conferences, events, written updates and via social media (#OTHBMR, #AHPConnectingPeople).  There has been local, national and international level interest in the work and are always happy to have conversations, always remembering the initial generosity we were the recipients of.  The work has also been aligned to several other workstreams and we look forward to sharing more around this.

  1. Ongoing use of our Improvement Approach

Throughout the national HBMR roll out, we have been utilising an Improvement Approach.  In order to give the work the best chance of ongoing success and sustainability, we are implementing improvement methodology and tools.  This includes the use of Driver Diagrams, a measurement plan with collection of quantitative and qualitative data, regular communication and most important of all, strong relationships with a committed team.

 “Coming together is the beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together……is success.” (Henry Ford)

  1. What Next?

We are now moving forward with Phase 2 of the OT HBMR (Scotland) improvement journey.  Hot off the press, the new resources have been distributed for a rapid cycle of testing and feedback (we will also build on the online resources).  We are excited to see where the numerous conversations and collaborations lead and look forward to sharing progress around this.  At all times, we remember that the driver behind the HBMR work is to improve the experience of people living with dementia and we look forward to sharing progress throughout next stage of the work.   Please look out for further updates or get in touch with any comments or questions. 

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge “Thank You” to everyone involved in the OT HBMR (Scotland) journey so far.  And just like Ruby and Scapa, I am very excited about what lies ahead (of course I had to include them)!


Alison McKean, AHP Post Diagnostic Lead







Alison is Allied Health Professional Post Diagnostic Lead with Alzheimer Scotland.   This role focuses on enhancing access to the skills on the AHPs in the post diagnostic period (as per Ambition One of Connecting People, Connecting Support, 2017).  Alison is passionate about improvements in dementia care and is a Scottish Quality and Safety Fellow (cohort 9).


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