[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 7, February 2012].
In this Department of Health video web blog posting, Professor Alistair Burns (National Clinical Dementia Director, Department of Health) talks about the importance of the healthcare environment for people with dementia.
The main points raised are:
- The King’s Fund Enhancing the Healing Environment programme promotes the importance of managing and enhancing the care environment to provide better outcomes for people with dementia
- Simple but effective steps can improve the care environment, including altering the lighting, signs and floor coverings in hospital environments.
- An illustrative case-study from the New Cross Hospital (RWHT) shows how the A&E Department at Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust has been operating an initiative to improve the care of people with dementia, by focusing on communication with staff and the importance of adequate nutrition and hydration. Changes to the layout of the A&E reception and assessment areas have yielded a significant decrease in the number of falls. 87% of staff now rate their working environment to have improved.
- The commentary stresses the importance of working to understand the special needs of patients with dementia, what is important for them, and what could be improved by altering the environment to meet their needs; not just in the general hospital setting but also in care homes and in the community generally.
Read more and view the video: The importance of the healthcare environment. (Department of Health, Dementia).