[The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust keynote article to which this abstract refers first appeared in: Dementia Newsletter RWHT Volume 1 Issue 4 November 2010].
This article introduces a New Cross Hospital project which – with a holistic and comprehensive design – aims to improve dementia care in an acute district general hospital. The main targets of the project are to achieve improved dementia care in the acute setting, measurable in terms of reduced length of stay and better quality care (as indicated by fewer discharges to 24 hour care, and by improved carer and patient satisfaction survey results).
The project adopts a whole systems approach, incorporating various key components including:
- A purpose designed ward with 20 beds for patients with dementia and physical illness.
- Carefully considered criteria for admission to the Dementia Ward.
- A Care Bundle, specially devised with the help of external consultants, integrating three main facets; (1) enhanced communication and information-sharing using “About Me” and “Reach Out” documents, (2) provision of suitable hydration and nutrition and (3) concentration on the appropriate environment.
- A focus on the entire patient pathway, involving close liaison with Primary Care, General Practitioners and Social Services.
- Attention is given to facilitating discharge, including patient rehabilitation and liaison with the (very few) facilities available to dementia patients in the local area.
- A comprehensive package of education and training for all acute staff caring for dementia patients.
- A dedicated Educational Nurse, providing training programmes for all hospital staff – including Elderly Care Nurses – specifically in dementia care.
- An Outreach Dementia Service.
- An appointed Consultant Nurse.
- The involvement of trained Volunteers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and a Psychogeriatric Liaison Team.
- Involvement in the National Audit in Dementia, including an audit into the use of neuroleptic medication across the Trust.
- External objective evaluation of the project from an economic and patient perspective.
Leung, D. and Ward, E. (2010). Introducing the New Cross Hospital Dementia Project. Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (Wolverhampton: Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust), Vol.1(4), November 2010, pp.1-2.
An updated and more definitive version of this article appears on the British Geriatrics Society website (published December 15th 2010). The new version includes more information on the patient pathway, with diagrams.
A further BGS update, entitled “The New Cross Dementia Care Bundle – Thinking Straight, Acting Collectively” appeared on April 14th 2011.