Improving dementia care in Somerset’s general hospitals

ContactJason Weetch, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
AddressMallard Court, Express Park, Bristol Rd, Bridgwater, TA6 4RN

What is being done?

This project aims to improve dementia care in Somerset’s general hospitals. It involved the secondment of two members of staff from the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, working 19 hours per week for one year.

The project was guided by a steering group comprising members from NHS Somerset, Alzheimer’s Society, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Acute and Community Hospital Trusts and Bournemouth University.

What is new and different?

The project involved a three pronged approach, which included:

  • Awareness Raising
  • Introducing Ward-Based Projects, and
  • Creating a Sustainable Network across Somerset.

What difference this seems to be making

The project included a formal evaluation led by colleagues from Bournemouth University. It took the form of questionnaires and personal interviews.

The project enabled highly motivated staff in the general hospitals to take forward some of their good ideas to improve dementia care in their environment. One of the most rewarding aspects of the project was to hear staff talking about changes needed in the culture of care, in relation to people with dementia.

The collaborative working between 7 organisations enabled face to face contact, developing good working relationships and blurring inter-organisational barriers