Midlands Trust eliminates dementia inpatient falls

Social Care Photography, DH

The Nursing Times reports that a specially recruited HCA Team at Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust has eliminated falls amongst dementia inpatients.

The enhanced care service, introduced a year ago, involves HCAs being allocated a patient to provide one-to-one care to.

Ward managers reported an improvement in continuity of care because the service follows the patient. Feedback also indicated that junior doctors had been called out far less to deal with patients in distress.

The service reports a cut in annual spend on bank and agency nurses of around £60,000. The Trust is working with other Trusts who are launching similar care models.

See the Nursing Times article, volume 112 issue 1/2, for further information. Available in print format at Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust Library.

Stephenson, J. (2016) ‘Enhanced dementia care team of HCAs proving success after first year’ Nursing Times 112(1/2) [Online]. Available at: http://www.nursingtimes.net/roles/older-people-nurses/hcas-providing-enhanced-care-to-dementia-patients/7001428.fullarticle

Focus on dementia – January 2016

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published statistics on dementia. These statistics focus on five strategic aspects of dementia care:

  1. Prevention.
  2. Diagnosis.
  3. Post-Diagnostic Support.
  4. Living Well With Dementia.
  5. Mortality Associated With Dementia.

Preventing well

  • There is evidence that some factors – particularly around cardiovascular risk – can impact on the risk of developing dementia. To have their greatest impact on reducing dementia risk these factors should be controlled throughout middle age (45-64).

Diagnosing well

  • Diagnosed prevalence increased from 643 per 100,000 in April 2014 to 755 per 100,000 in December 2015, which is 423,000 diagnoses out of 56.0m registered  patients.

Supporting well

  • 39 per cent of carers spent 100 or more hours each week looking after or caring for a person with dementia, with 52 per cent spending 50 hours or more per week.

Living well

  • Looking at all records from April 2012 to March 2015;
    • The median time for progression between ‘moderate need’ and ‘high need’ is 3 years and 2 months.
    • The median time for progression between ‘high need’ and ‘high physical need of engagement’ is 2 years and 9 months.

Dementia and mortality

  • The results of the survival analysis provide a median survival time of 3 years 6 months, from when patients are first assessed as having ‘cognitive impairment or dementia at moderate need’.

For more information visit the HSCIC website.

Click here to read the full report.

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Free online course: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour


The University of Birmingham are offering a free online course aimed at carers looking after family members with dementia or professionals working with people with dementia.

The course aims to develop the skills needed to manage challenging behaviour such as restlessness, agitation and communication difficulties, which can cause carers high levels of stress and burden. The course uses case studies to explore challenging behaviours and find out how other carers manage them both at home and in care settings. Specific interventions and a person-centred approach is used, particularly focusing on de-escalation skills.

For more information please visit the University of Birmingham’s website

Christopher Eccleston in film about dementia

Aardman Animation, the company behind Wallace and Gromit, have made a film with actor Christopher Eccleston tackling misconceptions about dementia.

The online film, made for Alzheimer’s Research UK, uses uses an orange to demonstrate how dementia physically attacks the brain.

Eccleston, whose father had the condition, said he hoped it would “fight the misunderstanding and fatalism that surrounds dementia”.

BBC (2016) Christopher Eccleston in Aardman Animations’ dementia film. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-35337554

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orange_Fruit_Close-up.jpg


New test could predict dementia risk


Researchers, from University College London (UCL), have developed an algorithm that uses information routinely collected by GPs to predict the risk of dementia.

The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), identified 930,395 patients with no previous records of dementia, cognitive impairment or memory problems. These patients’ records were used by researchers to build a simple computer algorithm which predicts the likelihood of dementia being diagnosed within five years.

Lead researcher, Dr Kate Walters (UCL Primary Care & Population Health), said the score could be used for identifying people at a very low risk of dementia.


University College London (2016) New test could predict dementia risk during routine GP visits. Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0116/210116-dementia-risk-test#sthash.lG1ehzRj.dpuf 

Image (courtesy of Ann Gordon via Flickr)

Variation of hospital care quality for dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society is launching a campaign to tackle what it calls an ‘unacceptable national variation in the quality of hospital care across England’. An investigation has revealed that an alarming number of people with dementia are falling while in hospital, being discharged during the night or are left in hospital despite their treatment having been completed.

The Alzheimer’s Society has published the findings of its investigation which was comprised of FOI requests to NHS Trusts in England and a significant survey of people receiving dementia care in hospitals.

For more information about the campaign, Fix Dementia Care, and relevant research, visit the Alzheimer’s Society web site.


Alzheimer’s Society (2016) Shocking variation of hospital care for people with dementia exposed. Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=2537

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