A team of health professionals from across the South West visited the hospital in October to see for themselves how people with dementia were cared for and what improvements were in place. The peer review team praised the new system of dementia champions on each ward, and said the Charter Mark scheme, where wards have to meet a set of care standards, was ‘exemplary’.
They also liked the use of volunteers to befriend and help with mealtimes, and were impressed by the Dementia Awareness bulletin produced for all staff.
However, the report pointed out that the examples of best practice needed to be implemented more consistently throughout the hospital, and called for a more systematic approach to training on dementia awareness for staff and volunteers.
It also identified many areas where there was room for improvement including speeding up discharge from hospital for patients from Wiltshire.
The Wiltshire charity Alzheimer’s Support has been involved in the hospital’s Dementia Strategy Group which has been pushing through the improvements. The charity has welcomed new measures to improve dementia care at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
Stephany Bardzil of Alzheimer’s Support said:
“It is quite right that the hard work and commitment of staff is recognised. Many of the initiatives now in place can make a real difference to the experience of people with dementia who find themselves in the RUH. However the improvements are very much a work in progress and, as the report recognises, there is still more to be done to ensure the examples of good practice are in place throughout the hospital.”