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The Right Care – call to action

2012 could be a landmark year for people with dementia, their families and carers. It could be the year with the potential to positively change the way in which people with dementia experience care, change the outcomes of care and change the way in which your community views caring for people with dementia.

On October 15th the Dementia Action Alliance, in partnership with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, launched the Call to Action for the improvement of care for people with dementia in Acute Hospitals.

The goal of this work is that by March 2013 every hospital in England will have committed to becoming a dementia friendly hospital, working in partnership with their local Dementia Action Alliance.

This is your opportunity to take action now and:

Why is this work important and how will it benefit people with dementia, their families and carers who use acute hospital services?

We know that dementia is a significant challenge and a key priority for the NHS with an estimated 25% of acute beds occupied by people with dementia. We know that when people with dementia come into acute care their length of stay is longer than people without dementia. We know they are vulnerable to potentially avoidable complications like dehydration and falls, and we know that they are often subject to delays in leaving hospital and returning safely home.

We have been listening to people with dementia, their families and carers about what good care looks like, and about the transformation that can take place when we have the shared purpose to enable people with dementia to experience high quality care in acute hospitals and when we support them, their families, carers and staff to have the confidence to champion best practice and create a culture of excellence.

Clinical, Academic and Managerial colleagues have all told us that we should focus on improving five key areas:

  • The environment in which care is given
  • The knowledge, skills and attitudes of the workforce
  • The ability to identify and assess cognitive impairment
  • The ability to support people with dementia to be discharged back home
  • The use of a person centered care plan which involves families and carers

By making improvements in these areas we are able to:

  • reduce readmission rates
  • prevent over 6000 falls across the country
  • reducing the mortality rate of people with dementia in acute care
  • improve the sense of pride and well being in staff who care for people with dementia in acute hospitals.

This is your opportunity to take action now and: