Identifying patients with dementia who have complex needs in Plymouth hospitals

ContactKaren Grimshaw, Associate Director of Nursing/Nurse Consultant Older People, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
AddressCastle Lane East, Bournemouth, BH7 7DW

What is being done?

Patients admitted through Urgent Care are screened on admission to identify the risk of complex needs in hospital, and to predict those on discharge.

The ALICE screening tool looks at:

  • Age of patient  – over 75s identified
  • Lifestyle of patient – those living alone or carer for older person are identified
  • Illness  – co-morbidities or mental health identified
  • Confusion  – acute confusion (delirium) or dementia identified
  • Existing care package  – those with existing care package or Care home identified

Those with 3 or more ALICE components are identified as likely to require multi-disciplinary/multi-agency discharge planning.

What is new and different?

The focus of multi-agency care planning on the complex needs of individuals. Early identification of patients who are likely to have complex needs in hospital and on discharge.

What difference this seems to be making

Allows focus for the multi-agency team, specialist nurses and use of Supportive Discharge services.

Plans for taking the project forward

Currently the ALICE screening tool is mainly used in medical admissions through urgent care. As the Healthcare of Elderly role extends to surgical teams on a more regular basis, the ALICE screening tool will be useful to other clinical pathways.