An innovative service which helps older people with dementia in Ottery has won a prestigious national award.

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The Rowan and Linden centres are among only eight winners of an Innovation and Best Practice in Community Hospitals Award for 2012.

The centres provide a safe haven and ongoing support for people with dementia, anxiety or depression, or who are socially isolated.

The chief executive of the Community Hospitals Association, who gave out the awards, said she was ‘very impressed with what they are doing at Ottery’.

Barbara Moore said: “The staff there are excellent and the service and care they provide for dementia patients is first-class.”

The Rowan and Linden centres are managed by Gaynor Appleby, team leader for the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

She said: “The staff here have worked really hard to make this service the success it is and the feedback from individuals, carers and families has been very positive since we opened two years ago.

“To be recognised nationally is proof that what we’re doing is really proactive and positive for people with dementia.”

The Rowan centre at Ottery St Mary Hospital offers a 12-week assessment for individuals, who take part in a variety of activities under the watch of key workers, while carers and loved ones are given one-to-one support.

And the Linden day-centre provides activities and ongoing support for individuals and respite for carers.

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