This resource, from NHS Education for Scotland, has been designed for acute general hospital staff to help them develop their abilities in supporting people with dementia, their families and carers. It will help you develop the knowledge and skills set out at the ‘Dementia Skilled Practice Level’ of Promoting Excellence: a framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers.
Evidence suggests that care, treatment and outcomes of hospital admission are markedly poorer for people with dementia than for those without. Several potential factors may contribute to this, including:
- pressures of acute care
- the unique and complex needs of the person with dementia not being recognised
- organisational systems and processes – acute general hospitals are fast-paced and intense, with a focus on rapid responses, meeting acute needs and achieving discharge as soon as possible.
These can lead to a number of risks for people with dementia, including:
- prolonged stay in hospital
- increased complications, such as pressure ulcers, falls and delirium
- increased adverse drug reactions
- loss of previous abilities and increased levels of dependence
- incidents of incontinence that can become permanent
- decline in cognitive function
- an increased likelihood of admission to a care home
- increased morbidity and mortality.