National Audit of Dementia Care in General Hospitals

Patients with dementia re more likely to find an unfamiliar environment unsettling, frightening and confusing due to the nature of impaired cognitive ability (Moyle et al. 2008). This accounts for literature suggesting that an acute ward environment comprised of identical doorways and bed spaces causes added confusions to patients who are apt to wandering, confusion another patient’s bed for their own and losing perspective on time (Leung and Todd 2010, Thompson and Health 2013). This often creates increased disorientation, aggression or withdrawal. This further challenges the nurse’s role in maintaining nutritional, personal hygiene and drug administration tasks as individuals can no longer respond to familiar faces, environment and daily routines (Tadd et al. 2011) An 800-bed hospital will have an average of 1500 inpatient falls per year costing approximately £2600 per patient. Falls are associated with increased length of stay, additional surgery and unplanned treatment. Multiple interventions by the multidisciplinary team and tailored to the patient can reduce falls by 20-30% (FFAP May 2019) Inpatient falls are common and can be life-changing for patients. The cost the NHS and social care an estimated £630 million annually. In 2017 approximately 250,000 patients had a fall in hospital (National Audit of Inpatient Falls (NAIF))