Alzheimer Scotland welcomes the findings of Evaluating the impact of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants/Specialists & Dementia Champions in bringing about improvements to dementia care in acute general hospitals, which explores the achievements and impact of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse and Dementia Champion roles to date.
As the report’s key findings point out, “Improving experiences and outcomes for people with dementia care in acute general hospitals is recognised in Scotland’s Dementia Strategies as requiring significant cultural change and service development […] Despite the enormity of the task and the relative small scale and immaturity of the initiatives, a significant amount of change and improvement work has been initiated by the two roles, and would likely not have happened without them.” In addition, the roles were identified as “key conduits and catalysts for change” and “a valued local source of dementia expertise.”
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil said, “This report shows that both Dementia Nurses and Dementia Champions have an invaluable role in helping people with dementia and their families, in hospital and care settings.
“These roles have empowered health and social care staff to deliver dignified and personalised dementia care to patients who have been admitted to acute general hospital, when admission is unavoidable. To provide the highest standard of care to these patients with dementia, it’s essential that staff are well equipped to understand the care they and their families are entitled to.
“In Scottish hospitals we now have over 400 dementia champions trained, with 120 due to graduate shortly, who support the dementia care action plan for hospitals and ensure people with dementia receive the dignity, respect and care they’re entitled to.”
Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive of NHS Education for Scotland (NES) commented, “We were delighted at NES to take forward the commissioning of the Dementia Champions programme on behalf of the Scottish Government and welcome the findings of this independent evaluation.
“I would like to pay tribute to all the staff who have undertaken this demanding programme for their immensely hard work, their enthusiasm and for their continuing efforts to translate their learning into positive actions to improve the care and experiences of people with dementia and their families”.
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland said, “This report clearly demonstrates the right formula for improving care for people with dementia in hospitals: enabling Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurses to take a strategic lead within their NHS board, assisting Dementia Champions to deliver frontline change through supportive managers (and regular contact with their Dementia Nurse and fellow Champions) and a commitment at board level to the 10 point action plan in Scotland’s Dementia Strategy. This formula allows us to make measurable and meaningful improvements in the delivery of care.
“We greatly appreciate the generous support of the public and numerous groups and companies in Scotland towards our Dementia Nurse appeal which has helped to make this joint investment with the Scottish Government to fund these posts. The findings of this report support our continued investment in the Dementia Nurse programme.”
Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland runs from 2-8 June 2014. This year the theme is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’ and there will be events happening all over Scotland to mark the week.