Welcome to the dementia pages on the RCN website.
You will find a range of information about ongoing work at the RCN on dementia care with supporting information plus lots of other useful resources.
We hope you find it useful.
Dignity in dementia: improving care in general hospital settings
Building on the success of the 2011 RCN led national project about the care of people with dementia in general hospitals: Dignity in dementia; improving care in general hospital settings, the RCN Foundation is supporting the ongoing project and dissemination of resources.
New resources have recently been developed to support practitioners in implementing the Commitment to the care of people with dementia in general hospitals. These include a film 'Supporting good dementia care' and a practical how to guide:
Dementia: Commitment to the care of people with dementia in hospital settings (PDF 552.8KB) [see how to access PDF files], which includes tools and resources to support the implementation of the 5 SPACE principles within the commitment.
RCN report calls for more specialist nurses
A new report published on 21 March 2013 by the RCN and the University of Southampton calls for greater support, funding and training for specialist dementia nurses, adding that they could save the health service almost £11,000,000 a year.
The report, which forms part of ongoing work at the RCN focusing on dementia care, was developed in response to the Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia to scope the role of dementia nurse specialists working in the acute care setting and develop recommendations for future developments.
The Dementia Nurse Specialists report; RCN summary and recommendations (PDF 450KB) and the full report Scoping the role of dementia nurse specialists in acute care (PDF 491KB) – highlight the significant contribution dementia nurse specialists could make in hospital settings.
Making a Difference in Dementia: Nursing Vision and Strategy launched
The Department of Health has launched a new nursing vision and strategy for dementia care. It makes clear that every nurse can make a difference to the care of people with dementia. The new resource aims to raise the profile of the wider nursing contribution to dementia care and describes what is expected of all nurses to meet the level and quality of care expected in all care settings. The dementia nursing vision has been developed by stakeholders from a wide range of NHS and other organisations including the Royal College of Nursing.
View Making a Difference in Dementia: Nursing Vision and Strategy.
Commitment to improving care in general hospitals
The 2011 project involved surveys of practitioners, people with dementia and carers about how to improve care as well as consultation with a range of other organisations and key people – see RCN Dementia project.
A commitment to the care of people with dementia in general hospital settings, and resources to support it, were launched in September 2011. Read more about the commitment and access the resources to join us in putting the commitment into practice. Make SPACE for good dementia care is an easy way of remembering the commitment.
The aim is for this commitment to be used as a guide to support the delivery of dignified care for people living with dementia and their families, within general hospital settings. It sets out key principles and considerations for promoting a positive experience for people with dementia and their families and can be used by staff to help support improvements and make positive changes.
The RCN’s dementia project lead, Rachel Thompson, described the tools being developed to help improve the care of people in general hospital settings in a podcast recorded for the RCN Bulletin published on 7 September 2011. Listen to the podcast (mp3 3.73MB).
Kate Harwood (family carer and member of the project steering group) describes her experience of hospital care for her husband and talks about what's important from a carers perspective. Listen to the podcast (mp3 1.9MB).
RCN development programme: Transforming dementia care for hospitals
Funded by the RCN Foundation, this year-long programme will support key nursing staff working in general hospitals through a number of events, development days and site visits to:
- develop skills and knowledge to support implementation of good practice in dementia care
- understand the role of carers, families and friends and principles of engagement
- understand the national context and guidance supporting improvements in dementia care
- develop local action plans to identify key changes, including stakeholder engagement.
Online Dementia resource
This RCN Dementia resource, developed as part of the project, aims to provide you with a range of information about dementia in general and links to other resources that will help promote better understanding of the needs of people with dementia, their families and carers. It points to some of the most recent information sources available on dementia which are relevant to all care settings, and includes:
- information to support understanding dementia
- resources for supporting people with dementia and understanding their needs
- resources for supporting carers and understanding their needs
- learning resources such as interactive e-learning and courses/training
- best practice examples illustrating the commitment to improving care in general hospitals
- national strategies,standards and guidelines influencing the provision of care across the UK
- details of agencies and networks
- information specific to different care settings
- information on key research activities
- resources you can use to discover more.
We hope that these resources will provide some useful information and guidance for nurses, health care assistants and anyone involved in supporting people with dementia and their families.