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Dementia Care

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 illness.

The aim of the National Dementia Strategy (2009) is to ensure significant improvements are made to dementia services across three key areas:

- 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.

Admission:

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 principles:

  • 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

Location:

Across all CMFT sites.

Contact Details:

nicola.johnson@cmft.nhs.uk

Staff:

Dr Paul Bannister Consultant Clinical Lead

Victoria Bagshaw Deputy Director of Nursing, Professional Practice Dementia Champion

Nicola Johnson Dementia Nurse Specialist