Specialist ward for patients with behavioural and psychological symptoms (BPSD) of dementia and delirium

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

Improved assessment and care of patients with BPSD and dementia or delirium in keeping with national guidelines.  It is recognised that prevalence of dementia, delirium and cognitive impairment otherwise unspecified is high in Geriatric Medicine departments.

What you did?

A small group of interested stakeholders met from late 2011 to develop ward protocols and agree ward requirements.  A ward in the Mansionhouse Unit in Glasgow was upgraded to be a ‘dementia friendly’ environment and staff underwent training in all aspects of dementia care.  Routine input from a consultant Psychiatrist of Old Age was agreed and has been integrated into a full multi-disciplinary team approach to patient care.  Change fund monies were secured and staff training began in October 2011. The ward refurbishment completed on 24th January 2013.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

Data has been collected six monthly since the project commenced. The main findings include:

  • Patients with the greatest levels of challenging behaviours are being managed in this ward.
  • Medical assessment of cognition and capacity, use of Adults with incapacity legislation, and diagnosis rates of dementia or delirium has improved considerably.
  • Use of antipsychotic drugs is now more appropriate, planned and monitored.
  • More patients are maintaining or increasing their weight.
  • Relative and patient satisfaction is improving.We are interested to see if the next audit data shows continued improvements now that the ward environment has been fully refurbished.

Contacts - to find out more

Dr E Burleigh Liz.Burleigh@ggc.scot.nhs.uk 0141 201 6126