How to pin down ‘butterfly’ care

An evaluation tool funded by the Department of Health has been developed to help hospitals check how well they are implementing the Butterfly Scheme, a system that enables staff to identify people with dementia and address their needs. The tool gives feedback on things staff are doing well and what steps to take next, encouraging continuous improvement.

Any nurse working in a hospital will be aware of the scale of dementia on the wards. Up to a quarter of beds are occupied by people with dementia; they are likely to stay in hospital longer than other patients, and have a higher risk of being readmitted and dying in hospital.

So it is no surprise that a key demand of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, published in February, is improving the hospital care of people with dementia.

Many hospitals have long been aware that they need to do more for these patients. Almost 150 hospitals have signed up to the Butterfly Scheme, a system of hospital care for people with memory problems held up as a beacon of good practice in the Challenge on Dementia.

A new, interactive online evaluation tool funded by the Department of Health aims to help hospitals using


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