Dementia care framework aims to make hospital stays better

Nurse leader researches and designs framework for improving care of inpatients with dementia.

Nurse leader researches and designs framework for improving care of inpatients with dementia

Sharing best practice is the basis of the dementia framework. Picture: iStock

A deputy chief nurse has developed a framework to help hospitals in England improve standards of care in hospital for people with dementia.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust deputy chief nurse Antonia Lynch devised the Dementia Assessment and Improvement Framework while on secondment to NHS Improvement, the organisation which overseas foundation trusts and NHS trusts.

Learning from the best

The framework combines national policy, guidance and best practice of providers rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Ms Lynch examined more than 100 CQC inspection reports for examples of best practice, and signs of where improvements could be made.

She told Nursing Standard: ‘Dementia isn’t a key line of inquiry in the CQC reports, but what I started to notice was certain characteristics and ideas working in outstanding trusts, that were very different in trusts receiving the other three ratings of 'good', 'requires improvement' and 'inadequate'.’

Areas for improvement

Ms Lynch identified eight areas for standards that trusts should strive to meet. These are:

  • Diagnosis.
  • Patient and carer information and support.
  • Involvement of patients and carers in care package design.
  • Workforce education and training.
  • Leadership.
  • Environment.
  • Nutrition and hydration.
  • Person-centred care.

Ms Lynch said the framework needs to be recognised across all disciplines.

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