The first ever national audit of care provided
by hospitals for people with dementia in England and Wales begins
this week, with the ultimate aim of creating an agreed standard of
care and benchmarking system for care of the elderly.
Over 90% of acute trusts in England and Wales
with general hospitals (143 out of 151) have put forward at least
one hospital to take part in the audit, with 207 organisations
taking part in total.
The National Audit of
Dementia (care in general hospitals) runs from March-August
2010, with observations taking place from October this year, and
the final report on the audit’s national findings due in December
2011. Individual hospitals will be sent a report comparing their
performance against the national picture.
The audit – commissioned by the Healthcare
Quality Improvement Partnership and carried out by the Royal
College of Psychiatrists – will gather data from case notes,
organisational structures, carers, staff and patients to provide a
comprehensive national picture of care provision.
Hospitals will be asked:
- Whether people with dementia receive comprehensive physical and
mental health assessment
- How discharge is planned and supported
- How family carers are kept informed and involved
- Whether staff are trained in dementia awareness
- Whether and why antipsychotic medication has been
In a smaller sample of hospital wards,
environments will be assessed to determine if they address the
needs of people with dementia. Feedback on the experience of
care and delivering care will be collected from patients, carers
and staff. Observation of care interactions will be carried
out by teams of two from within the hospital (not from the ward
Professor Peter Crome, Immediate Past
President of the British Geriatrics Society and Chair of the Audit
Steering Group, said "This is an important step in the process of
improving the care of patients with dementia who are admitted to
general hospitals. By measuring current services for dementia
patients in acute hospitals and identifying best practice, a clear
programme for staff training and organisational change can be
implemented and monitored.”
The feedback from the audit will ultimately be
used to develop a quality mark for care of the elderly. Wards will
be invited to join a review scheme and measure their performance
against standards and ongoing measures of patient experience.
Wards will be awarded a mark which will stand for a comprehensive
statement of their ability to provide a high standard of care.
The National Audit of Dementia has been funded
by the Department of Health and commissioned by the Healthcare
Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). HQIP Chief Executive Robin
Burgess said: "We are proud to be able to support this important
audit. Dementia care is a vital priority to many thousands of
people and this audit offers the ability to assess the quality of
care against best practice standards, and in doing so, offer
re-assurance to carers that their loved ones are receiving the help
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is managing
the project, in collaboration with the British Geriatrics Society,
Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Physicians, Royal
College of General Practitioners and the Alzheimer’s Society.
For further information, please
McLoughlin in the Communications Department.
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 07738 349070