A substantial rise in the numbers of people suffering from dementia is expected to put increased pressure on the NHS in England in the coming decades and hospitals willing be giving consideration now to how patients are cared for, how services are co-ordinated and how staff are trained to help identify patients with the condition.
Acute awareness: improving hospital care for people with dementia highlights a number of examples of improved acute care for people with dementia including improved training for staff so they can identify patients with dementia and better manage hospital admissions. It cites changes hospitals have made to help patients by having colour coding on doors and signs, and illustrated menus to aid patients’ association with objects. It also details the introduction of nutrition assistants on hospital wards to ensure all patients receive the right nutritional care.
The NHS Confederation says there is a strong case for hospitals having a lead clinician responsible for co-ordinating and championing improved care for patients with dementia including the development of liaison services and increased staff training. This role would help improve the knowledge of dementia amongst staff and lead to better care and improved discharge processes, it says.