[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 12, July 2012].
Innovative work to improve hospital care for patients with dementia has resulted in the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust (RWHT) winning a national award in the prestigious Patient Safety Awards 2012. The awards, now in their third year, are organised by the Health Service Journal and the Nursing Times. These awards recognise the best examples of work across the NHS to improve patient safety. The awards identify initiatives which can be shared across the health service.
The Trust came top in the Patient Safety in Clinical Care category of the Patient Safety Awards 2012, as a result of introducing specific patient safety initiatives successfully into clinical practice with a demonstrable reduction in incidents of actual or potential harm to patients. The “New Cross Hospital Dementia Project” introduced the scheme to improve services for patients with dementia who have been admitted to hospital with a physical illness. Their “care bundle” approach concentrates on the hospital environment, person-centred care, nutrition and hydration, and communication.
The work is based on the dedicated Acute Medical Ward for Dementia (Ward D22), while elsewhere in the hospital a dementia outreach team arranges individual care plans for patients who cannot be moved from other wards for clinical reasons. The scheme has increased in the number of patients discharged to their admission address, improved nutrition and hydration, reduced patient falls and improved patient, staff and visitor satisfaction.
Infection Control and Hygiene Also Shortlisted
Winners of the Patient Safety Awards 2012 were announced in London on July 4th 2012. A second RWHT scheme, designed to prevent residents in care homes becoming dehydrated and in need of intravenous drips when suffering from the norovirus bug, was also shortlisted in the Infection Control and Hygiene category of the same awards. Simply being shortlisted for these national awards is no mean achievement.
Dementia care scoops national patient safety award. Wolverhampton: Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, July 5th 2012.