[A version of this item features in Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust), Volume 3 Issue 4, November 2012].
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced additional funding to promote the creation of care environments for people with dementia. These environments help reduce anxiety and distress, and have been shown to improve patient outcomes.
Up to £50 million will be available to NHS trusts and local authorities, working in partnership with care providers, to re-design hospitals and care homes along dementia-friendly lines to meet the needs of people with dementia. The care providers are required to sign up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact, which involves a commitment to providing excellent care and support for people with dementia and their families.
Research by the King’s Fund has demonstrated how good design can help with the management of dementia. People with dementia are calmer, less likely to get lost or become distressed.
Organisations that bid successfully for money will be able to adapt care homes and hospitals using design principles tested in the King’s Fund pilots. The King’s Fund has also produced an updated online list of Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) and Dementia Care Projects completed so far. These projects will in-turn be used to provide an evidence-base to advise local Health and Wellbeing Boards on how to create better environments for dementia care.