[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 3, October 2011].
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has unveiled a range of resources to support their commitment to the care of people with dementia in general hospital settings. These resources were launched on September 21st 2011, to coincide with the RCN’s “Making sense: working in partnership to improve dementia care in general hospitals” conference, held at Aintree Racecourse (Liverpool).
The RCN Commitment
The RCN understands and supports the idea that more can be done to improve the care of people with dementia in general hospital environments. Their commitment has been structured into five key threads:
- Staff need to be informed, skilled and have enough time to care.
- Family carers and friends are to be seen as partners in care (unless indicated otherwise by the person living with dementia).
- A dementia assessment will be offered to all individuals at risk, to support early identification and appropriate care.
- Care plans will be person-centred and responsive to individual needs. Care plans will support nutrition, dignity, comfort, continence, rehabilitation, activity and palliative care.
- Environments will be dementia friendly in order to support independence and well-being.
As with most high-profile schemes nowadays, there has to be a carefully crafted acronym or abbreviation to assist in recognition and recall. The RCN has a handy mnemonic for the top five ingredients for the support of good dementia care in hospitals: it says “Make SPACE for good dementia care”.
- Staff who are skilled and have time to care.
- Partnership working with carers.
- Assessment and early identification of dementia.
- Care plans which are person centred and individualised.
- Environments that are dementia friendly.
We will surely hear more about the RCN’s SPACE Commitment.
RCN Dementia Project, Thompson, R. (2011). Commitment to the care of people with dementia in general hospitals. (RCN Website). London: Royal College of Nursing, September 21st 2011.