[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 8, March 2012].
Relatively inexpensive and straightforward changes to the design of health care environments can enhance the wellbeing of people with dementia, improving staff morale and reduce operating costs.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists‘ recent Report of the National Audit of Dementia Care in General Hospitals found most hospitals had not yet made suitable modifications. The Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) Assessment Tool has been developed by the King’s Fund as a practical resource to assess the physical environment and answer the question “Is this ward dementia friendly?”.
This assessment tool has been based on research evidence and reflects best practice. It can be used across the full range of hospital settings where people with dementia and delirium receive assessment or care, including general medical and surgical wards, outpatient departments, continuing care wards and mental health assessment units (i.e. practically every clinical department excluding maternity and paediatrics).
The EHE Assessment Tool contains seven overarching criteria and a range of questions to prompt discussions. This tool has been designed to be user-friendly and has been tested with carers and staff participating in the King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) Programme.
Full Text Link. Note: Free registration required to access this document.
The King’s Fund (2012). Is your ward dementia-friendly?: the EHE environmental assessment tool. London: The King’s Fund, February 2012. 10p.
Further information may be obtained from the King’s Fund via firstname.lastname@example.org.