|Contact||Dr Deborah Mitchell, Consultant Dermatologist,|
|Address||Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ|
What is being done?
Salisbury District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has developed new standards for patients with dementia attending out-patient departments building on the South West standards for in-patients.
The South West standards for patients with dementia deal with the needs of in-patients but not all are appropriate to the out-patient setting. Patients attending as out-patients are in the departments for an hour or two rather than for days or even weeks. Audit of the South West guidelines have highlighted this. In addition prompt communication with GPs and carers about diagnosis and treatment is particularly crucial for patients with dementia attending as out-patients where treatment will take place at home.
To address these issues new standards for patients with dementia attending out-patient departments have been devised. Those standards not relevant to out-patients have been omitted and those appropriate to out-patients have been added.
What is new and different?
Emphasis on good and prompt communication with:
- people closely involved with the care of the patient ie nursing and residential home staff (with patient’s permission)
- Next of kin where appropriate ( with patient’s permission)
Other standards retained from SW standards;
- Respect, dignity and appropriate care
- Dementia friendly environment
- Appropriate training and workforce development
- Promotion of contribution of volunteers where appropriate.
Standards from SW standards not relevant to OUT-patients:
- Admission and discharge processes
- Nutrition needs
- End of life care
What difference does this seem to be making?
These standards devised specifically for patients attending out-patient departments have been welcomed by nursing sisters in charge of the out-patient departments as they are tailored towards the needs of their patients.
Much of this good practice is already happening and has been for years but to ensure consistent good adherence to standards over a wide range of out-patients departments and by a large number of staff it is essential that they are clearly appropriate to the setting and are achievable.
Whereas previously it was mainly dependant on the doctor seeing the patients to offer copy letters these standards emphasise that all out-patient staff can be pro-active in drawing attention to patients and carers that they can request these copy letters.
- Copies of clinic letters to carer/nursing and residential home offered in clinic.
- Posters in OPD offering this.
- First appointment letter to patients in nursing and residential homes contain a paragraph informing patients that copy letters to nursing/residential home can be requested by patient.
An audit is planned for the near future