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Hospital nurses urged to offer views for dementia audit

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Nurses are being urged to take part in a national audit of dementia care to help improve the quality of support and training on offer to hospital staff.

The National Audit of Dementia, led by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has in the past revealed key issues such as a lack of specialist support for ward staff and concerns about delirium checks.

“In this fourth round of the audit, we would like to gain even more feedback from nurses”

Chloe Snowdon

More than 14,400 hospital workers, including 6,131 nurses and 3,324 healthcare assistants, took part in 2016’s audit, which was published in July 2017.

Its key findings included just a quarter of staff reporting they could access specialist help with dementia care either always or most of the time, while almost 25% of those taking part said dementia patients’ nutritional needs were met either sometimes or not at all.

The latest round of the audit – the fourth time the exercise will be carried out – will again ask nurses working in England and Wales key questions about the quality of care they are able to provide, the support and training they get, and suggestions for improvement.

Chloe Snowdon, deputy programme manager of the National Audit of Dementia, said the exercise was a powerful way of raising concerns about practice.

“Fom your responses, we were able to highlight the nutritional needs of people with dementia are not always being met”

Chloe Snowdon

“The information we received from you helped to demonstrate that while policies may exist in hospitals, this does not necessarily mean staff have the required support and provisions on the frontline,” she said.

“From your responses, we were able to highlight that the nutritional needs of people with dementia are not always being met and that hospital staff need more support from dementia specialist staff, particularly out of hours,” she said.

“In this fourth round of the audit, we would like to gain even more feedback from nurses, so we have an even more powerful message to show hospital managers and commissioners,” she said.

“So, if you work in an acute general hospital in England or Wales, please complete the staff questionnaire when it is available this summer,” added Ms Snowdon.

The questionnaire, which takes up to 20 minutes to complete, will be available at from 4 June to 21 September.

Nurses will need their hospital code to complete the questionnaire, which can be obtained from their hospital audit lead or by calling the National Audit of Dementia team on 020 3701 2707 or 020 3701 2681.

All those who completes a questionnaire will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win one of five £50 high street shopping vouchers.

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