The term "dementia" is used to describe a syndrome which may be
caused by a number of illnesses in which there is progressive
decline in multiple areas of function, including memory, reasoning,
communication skills and the ability to carry out daily activities.
Dementia is one of the most severe and devastating disorders to
face. There are approximately 700,000 people with dementia in the
UK and the number is set to double in just 30 years to 1.4 million.
Predominately dementia is a disorder of later life, but there are
at least 15,000 people under the age of 65 who have the
The aim of the National Dementia Strategy (2009) is to ensure
significant improvements are made to dementia services across three
- improved awareness
- earlier diagnosis and intervention
- higher quality of care
In total the strategy identifies 17 key objectives which when
implemented largely at a local level should result in significant
improvements in the quality of care for people living with
dementia.The National Dementia Strategy Objective 8 states
"Improved quality of care for people with dementia in general
hospitals" is needed. The strategy states that we should identify
leadership for dementia in general hospitals and define the care
pathway for dementia.
A bundle of improvements, in line with objectives from the
National Dementia Strategy (2009) and the National Audit of
Dementia (2013), was devised during 2012/13. These changes will
ensure that dementia care provided at CMFT is safe, effective and
individualized specific to the needs of patients with known
dementia or signs of cognitive impairment.
Providing good quality care for people with dementia in hospital
is about providing care for the whole person, about looking beyond
the diagnosis and seeing the person.
Good dementia care should be underpinned by the following
- Stepping into the person's world and asking? How might the
person be perceiving their situation? Is their perception of
reality likely to be different from my own?
- Seeing and valuing the patient as a person: We need to see the
person beyond the diagnosis. We must be vigilant to ensure that
dignity and respect underpin all our interactions.
- Focus on feelings: Having dementia and being in a hospital
environment will give rise to powerful emotions which might include
fear, insecurity, abondonment, puzzlement and frustration
Across all CMFT sites.
Dr Paul Bannister Consultant Clinical Lead
Victoria Bagshaw Deputy Director of Nursing, Professional
Practice Dementia Champion
Nicola Johnson Dementia Nurse Specialist