[A version of this article appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 1 Issue 9, April 2011].
A project dedicated to improving acute hospital admission for older patients with dementia has the title “Delivering Excellence in Dementia Care in the Acute Hospital“. The Association for Dementia Studies of the University of Worcester is working in partnership with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust to assist in developing approaches to intervention and evaluation.
Professor Dawn Brooker is working as an expert advisor to the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust. She has been helping in the implementation of person-centred care interventions as part of their New Cross Hospital Dementia Project‘s bespoke “care bundle”. The aim is to ensure patients with dementia receive care which reflects and embodies best clinical practice, is cost-effective and treats patients with respect, dignity and compassion. This involves the development, implementation and evaluation of a set of evidence-based interventions for use by all staff.
Professor Brooker has a long history of research interests into the quality of care for people with dementia in acute hospitals. She participates on the steering groups for a number of national research programmes in the area. She also works with the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority on the development of multi-level interventions to improve the care of people with dementia in general hospitals.
NHS West Midlands has funded the Institute of Health and Society at the University of Worcester to evaluate the development of the Excellent Care for People with Dementia in Acute Hospital Care Environments project. The evaluation of the impact of this set of interventions is being led by Professor Dominic Upton.
The evaluation aims at the comprehensive assessment of the quality of dementia care delivered in the hospital environment and the cost-benefit analysis of the new service(s). The NHS organisational culture, the environment of the patient with dementia and the impact of specialist dementia training for acute care ward staff are to be evaluated. This multi-level evaluation will focus on the impacts of service provision on the key stakeholders, including patients with dementia, their carers, staff supporting the patients and any linked services (such as psychiatric liaison teams). The evaluation work is supported by a team from the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust and the input of an expert steering group. This project will report in July 2011.