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Senior nurses to be asked how they are improving dementia care


England’s top nurses are to be asked to explain what they are doing to improve hospital dementia care in their regions.

A study by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, released in December, found less than one in five hospitals had a system in place to ensure all ward staff know which patients have dementia.

It also found a third of people referred to psychiatry liaison services were not seen within four days.

The national clinical directors for dementia and older people – Professors Alistair Burns and David Oliver – have now written to the nursing directors for each strategic health authority to ask for their reactions to the report.

The letter says the study, together with similarly critical research by the Alzheimer’s Society, were “an opportunity to look, across the board at the quality of care for people with dementia in line with our other priorities of reducing anti-psychotic prescribing, early diagnosis and dementia care in care homes.”

The national directors said they would be looking to help assess the practice in individual trusts and to share good practice.


Readers' comments (4)

  • No point asking the senior nurses how they improve care because they dont they mostly attend meeting and try to push through useless initiatives

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  • why aren't the nurses responsible for the care of patients with dementia being asked this question. they are more likely to have the answer than managers who are not in touch with or responsible for carrying out direct patient care

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  • it is everybodys responsibility to look after people with dementia but as usual the largest portion of care is laid at the lower grade nurses and the managers sit in their office or go to meetings, i understand that there are alot of constraints to their day but it is not easy as these patients can be very challenging and very often it is the poor nursing assistant that is left to supervise these patients while the poor trained staff are run of their feet trying to organise their time and looking after the other patients designated to them. its no wonder then that the whole profession can become so emotionally drained, its because we do not all have the specific skills to deal with these sorts of situations, and if we do not the neither do the nursing assistants, so is it a wonder then that we become demoralised and frustrated because we can not take care of our patient groups properly.

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  • Here we go again - lets vent our frustration at low staff numbers, lack of resources and priorities changing by bashing the managers.

    I have no quarrel with maintaining and improving good quality care for all categories and groups of patients / clients but the unpleasant fact which has to be faced is that there is only finite resources within the NHS and everyday something new comes under the spotlight - usually as a result of some report or enquiry - and the easiest way for something to appear to be being done about it is to launch an internal inquiry into 'what is being done here'.

    This will inevitably filter its way down and yes - its clinical staff who will have to provide the answers on what care is and can be provided and what is not.
    If the process continues the answers will go back up the chain and it will be senior managers who then re-prioritise and make resources available.

    So come on - support them in this to make changes happen instead of grumbling that they haven't

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