[A version of this abstract appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT) Volume 1 Issue 8 March 2011].
The “Enhancing the Healing Environment” (EHE) programme was launched in 2000 to encourage local trust teams to improve the environment in which care is delivered.
In 2009 the Department of Health funded a new programme to improve the care environment for people with dementia and to support the implementation of the first National Dementia Strategy.
Previous EHE projects in dementia care had already shown how accidents and challenging behaviour could be reduced by the re-design and refurbishment of the built environment. Dementia care mapping before and after EHE projects tend to confirm the validity of this approach by demonstrating higher levels of patients’ well-being following such initiatives.
Ten projects were chosen to reflect the different stages of the care pathway, i.e. from diagnosis to end of life care. These initial projects were intended to be good examples of how practical improvements in the hospital environment enhance the experience of patients and their carers. The following ten NHS trusts were the early participants:
- Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
- Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust.
- Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
- Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust.
- Dorset HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust.
- Humber Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust.
- Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.
- Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
- Mersey Care NHS Trust.
- NHS North Yorkshire and York Community and Mental Health Services.
Phil Hope MP said at the launch of these projects:
“These projects are another part of our efforts to support people with dementia and their families. We know that improving environments in hospitals has a whole range of benefits, including reductions in trips and falls, reductions in aggressive incidents and improvements in the experience that people and their families have while in hospital”.
A further 12 projects were started in 2010, including that at Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust.
The King’s Fund / Templeman, Pamela (2009). Enhancing the healing environment: a guide to NHS Trusts. London: The King’s Fund, 2009.
The King’s Fund / Templeman, Pamela (2010). Enhancing the healing environment: a guide to NHS Trusts. London: The King’s Fund, 2010.