PM announces new measures to improve hospital dementia care


Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a new set of care quality measures which aim to drive up the quality of care experienced by people with dementia in hospitals.

According to the announcement, dementia champions will be installed on every NHS ward, a dementia nursing expert in each NHS organisation and sets out commitments to training staff by making online learning packages available.

Improving people’s experience of hospital and raising the standard of care is set to be a key priority for the Coalition in 2013, building on a NHS-wide drive to raise standards over the last year.

The announcement builds on the recently published Compassion in Practice vision for nursing, midwives and care staff, which sets a blueprint for respectful and dignified care across the NHS. The vision aims to embed six values – care, compassion, courage, communication, competence and commitment, known as the Six C’s, in all nursing, midwifery and care-giving settings throughout the NHS and social care to improve care for patients.

New measures will include:

  • Patient satisfaction tests From April 2013, ‘friends and family’ tests and patient-led inspections and will be introduced across all hospitals. The test will show hospitals what patients and staff care about most, and will be used to trigger improvements in services and performance.
  • Better training Training and career development opportunities for health care assistants to progress through to fully-fledged nursing roles as part of  a new £13m innovation fund. And the Care Quality Commission will do a root and branch review of induction training for care staff to ensure that nobody can provide unsupervised help without an appropriate level of training. New minimum training standards for care staff will be published within weeks.
  • Understanding dementia With 1 in 4 beds occupied by someone with dementia, understanding the condition is crucial. All NHS and social care staff, from porters to doctors, will have access to new training to make sure people know how to provide support for people with dementia. In addition, every NHS ward will have a ‘dementia champion’ and every NHS organisation a dementia nursing expert. A £50m incentive scheme will be available to improve dementia care in 2013/14.
  • More nursing rounds Nine in ten hospitals have introduced hour by hour care rounds. We want to go further and detailed action plans for Compassion in Practice to be published in the spring will urge the remaining hospitals to do so within a year.
  • Better district nursing A new ‘vision for district nursing’ will be published so that commissioners of local services put a greater priority on their role in community care and look to strengthen these services, supporting patients to live independently at home and leave hospital quicker.