Improving the hospital environment for people with dementia
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Improving the hospital environment for people with dementia

Jennifer Bray Research assistant, University of Worcester
Simon Evans Principal research fellow and head of research, University of Worcester
Mary Bruce Senior lecturer, University of Worcester
Christine Carter Senior lecturer, University of Worcester
Dawn Brooker Director of the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester
Sarah Milosevic Former research assistant, University of Worcester
Rachel Thompson Professional and practice development lead, Admiral Nursing, Dementia UK
Jane Longden Interim associate director of facilities, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Jennifer Robinson Lead nurse for older people and vulnerable adults, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Appropriate bays and lists showing patients who should not be moved help to make hospital stays less disorientating, write Jennifer Bray and colleagues

This article is the third in a series presenting examples of the positive work achieved by trusts who participated in the Royal College of Nursing’s development programme to improve dementia care in acute hospitals.

The hospital environment is often disorientating for people with dementia and can be particularly distressing when a patient is admitted in an emergency. Subsequent ward moves can also be disruptive and confusing, especially if they take place out of hours. Two NHS trusts aimed to improve the experience for patients with dementia by addressing the physical environment along with practical aspects of care provision at different stages in the hospital journey. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust in Norfolk enhanced its emergency department environment by redesigning four bays and an observation area to be dementia-friendly. The hospital has supported these changes by providing dementia awareness training for all staff in these areas. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust focused on minimising ward moves by implementing procedures to identify patients who should not be moved. Since introducing the new process, adherence has been good and there have been fewer ward moves.

Nursing Older People. 27, 9, 16-20. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.9.16.s17


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 09 March 2015

Accepted: 29 April 2015

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