In the UK, to support clinical and care staff, managers and estates colleagues, the King’s Fund has produced a range of resources to enable hospitals, care homes, primary care premises and specialist housing providers to become more dementia friendly.
The work that informed the initial development of the resources, the EHE dementia care programme, was funded by the Department of Health to support the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy and the Prime Minister’s ‘Challenge on Dementia’.
The EHE programme is designed to improve the environment of care for people with dementia. It involved 23 teams from acute, community and mental health NHS trusts who worked on a range of projects across the dementia care pathway and sought to make hospital environments less alienating for people with cognitive problems. Projects have demonstrated that relatively inexpensive interventions, such as changes to lighting, floor coverings and improved way-finding, can have a significant impact. Evaluation has shown that environmental improvements can have a positive effect on reducing falls, violent and aggressive behaviours, and improving staff recruitment and retention. The EHE schemes are already showing that it is possible to improve the quality and outcomes of care for people with dementia as well as improve staff morale and reduce overall costs by making inexpensive changes to the environment of care.
The King’s Fund has also published on Sept. 4th 2014, the final report of the Commission on the Future of the Health and Social Care in England (the Barker report). “A New Settlement for Health and Social Care, relations between health and social services”, makes a plea for “better integration” and warns of “hard choices” ahead.