• Run by North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust to improve the experience of dementia patients who access services from North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.
  • Focused on improving patient experience during the multiple handovers of care between acute, community and primary care services.
  • Used a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection to gain an understanding of patient experience before mapping these against the care pathway to identify areas for improvement.

This project set out to improve the experience of dementia patients, ensuring they are cared for with dignity and compassion in a safe environment, with their carers feeling fully engaged in their care.

Their aims were to create a service which:

  • manages patients safely in their usual place of residence
  • only admits patients when absolutely necessary
  • identifies patients with dementia early and ensures there is information available which improves safety and experience
  • involves patients and carers in clinical decisions
  • is supported by staff with the right skills, training and support
  • is integrated and co-ordinated
  • works across teams to support timely and safe discharges.

The overall aim was to see the person in the patient.

The aims and activities carried out in the project are described by the acronym FACES:

Family: Staff engaged with patients, families and carers, for example through memory cafes and patient shadowing, enabling them to feel in control of their care and allowing their feedback to be used to make improvements.

Assess: Personalised care plans, tailored to individual patients needs, were developed through timely assessment and identification using recognised screening and assessment tools for dementia/delirium.

Communication: Information about the patient was shared across the pathway to ensure personalised and co-ordinated care was given by all clinical teams.

Environment: Patients with dementia needed to be in an environment which promotes recovery, including through providing social activities and making changes to the design of wards.

Staff: A workforce who are trained, engaged in the project and have their personal well being promoted will deliver a high quality, personalised patient experience. Staff were consulted about their experience of the dementia pathway and kept informed about the project.

Further reading

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Patient and Family-Centred Care: practical tools to improve patient experience

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