Introducing the New Cross Hospital Dementia Outreach Service

By Julie Willoughby,
Consultant Nurse for Dementia Services,
Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.


As part of the project to deliver excellence in dementia care at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, Ward D22 opened in November 2010. It offers a bespoke environment with skilled staff providing acute medical care to patients with dementia. The ward is quickly becoming recognised as a centre of excellence in the delivery of a person-centred “care bundle approach” to the care experience.

Our Outreach Philosophy

Ward D22 has only 20 beds and we know from commissioned Point Prevalence studies that, conservatively, there is at least three times this amount of people with dementia receiving care and treatment within New Cross Hospital at any one time. People with dementia can be found in almost every ward and department in the hospital and at any stage of the illness trajectory from early memory loss to end-of-life care.

The Dementia Outreach Service was established to reach out to the whole of the hospital with the aim to improve both the quality of service delivery and the care experience for patients with dementia and their carers throughout the Trust. The multidisciplinary team is led by Julie Willoughby, Consultant Nurse for Dementia Services and consists of Dementia Outreach Nurse, Gemma Hammond, Dementia Outreach Occupational Therapist Liz Macdonald and dietetic input. The team is actively supported by Dr. Daryl Leung, Consultant Geriatrician and Gill Maidens, Dementia Trainer.

Our Proactive Approach

Whilst offering a traditional referral process, the Dementia Outreach Service proactively seeks to identify patients with a known or suspected diagnosis of dementia admitted to the acute Trust. An electronic database flagging system and daily EAU ward rounds assist in this identification process. The service provides a single point of referral and first line response.

Service Options

Once clients are identified the Dementia Outreach Service can provide a range of services aimed at improving the patient and carer experience. The services available include comprehensive specialist assessment, D22 transfer facilitation, complex capacity opinions, family and carer liaison, staff education and training, and care management planning.

A Person-Centred Care Bundle

The service also aims to facilitate implementation of a person-centred “care bundle” approach. This involves attention being given to each individual clinical area, ensuring that communication, nutrition and hydration and environmental factors are recognised as key areas to be considered when caring for persons with dementia.


The service offers an open referral system, referrals being accepted from all disciplines, internal and external to the Trust, including family and carers. The Dementia Outreach Service operates a dynamic and flexible work plan. It currently provides a service from 08.30 until 16.30, Monday to Friday. There is the aspiration to increase clinical capacity in order to extend service provision in the future.

RWHT’s Dementia Action Network

One of the next exciting stages in the development of excellence in dementia care throughout the Trust, and for the local region, is the establishment of the new Dementia Action Network (DAN). This will consist of lead professionals from within the Trust, the D22 ward team and passionate and enthusiastic individuals who have completed the “Specialist Practice in Person-Centred Care in Acute Hospitals” training module. It will coordinate and liaise with key services and individuals from outside the Trust.

Advice Is At Hand

For further information about either the Dementia Outreach Service, the emerging Dementia Action Network or for help or advice on any dementia related issue, please do not hesitate to contact Julie Willoughby, Consultant Nurse for Dementia Services.

Julie may be contacted on Ward D22, New Cross Hospital (phone her on 01902 694022/5022 or  07770800959).

1 Response to Introducing the New Cross Hospital Dementia Outreach Service

  1. Jeff Wicks says:

    We’ve just launched a state of the art, UK standard nursing home in Sri Lanka, specialising in dementia care.

    The nursing home is owned and operated by a British healthcare professional with over 30 years UK geriatric and dementia care experience and a sign off mentor for the University of Bradford.

    It’s the first and only one of its kind in Sri Lanka and due to the significant costs coupled with austerity measures, it is aimed at expats from more developed countries looking for cost effective Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia care without compromising on the standards available at home.

    24 hour care in the brand new facility costs in the region of $1,500 per month as opposed to around $5,000 for the same level of care in the UK.

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    We don’t just cater for dementia sufferers, and being set in such a idyllic location, its a perfect location for those seeking to retire to a warmer climate whilst receiving as little or as much care as is required.

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    It truly is the gem in the Indian Ocean with miles of golden beaches and a comfortable inland climate, it’s quickly becoming a destination of choice for those looking to retire to a tropical paradise.

    We work closely with the Alzheimer’s Society of Sri Lanka who have gained valuable experience in our UK standards and procedures, they are also happy recommend our establishment to clients seeking such care.

    Please see our web site for more info and do let me know if you’d be interested in visiting us/publishing an article in your local journals to raise awareness of lower cost UK standard retirement and care options available in Sri Lanka. or

    Some recent articles include:

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