[This article first appeared as part of a feature in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter RWHT Volume 1 Issue 7 February 2011].
Grace Hampson, Project Manager of the New Cross Hospital Dementia Project, introduces the outline proposal (May 2010) for the research and development programme which has been funded by the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority. A comprehensive and radical approach, working on a whole system basis, has been adopted.
The project has been sponsored by Chief Executives in the West Midlands to create a “dementia care bundle” designed to improve clinical outcomes within an acute hospital setting and provide more cost-effective care for people with dementia.
A dedicated Physical Illness and Dementia Ward provides care to people with dementia, supported by an outreach team which provides advice and support in the management of patients with dementia located in other wards and departments throughout the hospital. The dedicated ward is planned to be a centre of excellence and main the environment in which to develop and test the care bundle.
The intended outcomes of the New Cross Hospital Dementia Project are:
- A reduction in falls, infections and pressure ulcers.
- A reduced length of stay and fewer discharges to institutional care.
- Improvements to staff training.
- Provision of person-centred care to patients with dementia.
- Improved patient and family satisfaction, resulting in fewer complaints.
- Reduction in the cost of care, both for the hospital and for the whole care system within Wolverhampton.
- Development of an evidence-based care bundle, which will be shared in the West Midlands, nationally and possibly internationally.
“The work will also identify aspects of care that need to be addressed and found to be responsibilities of the Primary Care Trust and Social Services and which are not currently in place or need improving such as at times of admission via Accident and Emergency Departments, admission to unscheduled care and planned care and at times of transfer or discharge from the Acute Sector”.
The project entails six active work streams These are:
- Person Centred Care: responsible for development of the care bundle and associated care processes.
- Medical / Therapeutic: developing the clinical model of care, admission criteria, clinical protocols, pharmacology and audit.
- Training and Development: ensuring all staff across the Trust have, as a minimum, knowledge and understanding of dementia.
- Built Environment: adapting the dedicated ward to meet the needs of people with dementia in an acute care setting.
- Metrics / Outcomes: developing a set of measurable outcomes compatible with Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) indicators.
- Evaluation: establishing baseline measures and testing overall effectiveness of care bundle and the programme. This will be validated externally and is chaired by Prof. Dominic Upton at the University of Worcester.
Hampson, Grace (Project Manager). Delivering Excellence in Dementia Care in Acute Hospitals. Wolverhampton: The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, May 10th 2010.