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Ipswich joins call for dementia action

Ipswich Hospital is one of the first in the UK to sign up to a ‘call for action’ to improve care in hospitals for patients with dementia.

The Dementia Action Alliance and NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement has set out to make 2012 a landmark year for people with dementia, their families and carers. So far, four hospitals have signed up. Organisers want every hospital in England to have made the same commitment by March 2013. A recent snapshot audit of the Ipswich Hospital general wards showed 24% of patients had dementia. Cath Gorman, associate director of Nursing, said, “Our hospital has already received national recognition for its work for patients with dementia, including the opening of a dementia-friendly ward.

“We are proud to stand up to the call for action challenge and are 100% committed to further improve the care and support we give these patients. For example, we have just begun a piece of work to make sure we diagnose dementia as early as possible.”

The Dementia Action Alliance website says, “By making improvements we are able to reduce admission rates, prevent over 6,000 falls across the country, reducing the mortality rate of people with dementia in acute care, as well as improving the sense of pride and well being in staff who care for people with dementia in acute hospitals.”

The call for action ask hospitals to improve five areas; the environment where care is given, knowledge, skills and attitudes of staff, ability to identify and assess cognitive impairment, supporting discharges back home and person-centred care plans.

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