DSDC research project

Enhanced a hospital ward environment by improving the lighting, flooring, signage and toilet areas.  The results were: 

70% reduction in slips, trips and falls

60% reduction in agitation and aggression

50% reduction in incontinence episodes

Bawley E

Designing for Alzheimer’s Disease strategies for creating better care environments

90% of challenging behaviours are caused by the environment and other people

Cambridge University Hospital research findings

A person with dementia is twice as likely to fall as someone without dementia.

42% of patients who fall are dehydrated.

1 in 4 hospital beds are in use by a person with dementia.

Patients with dementia are 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 confusion to patients who are apt to wandering, confusing 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))

Lister hospital (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust)

Within the Lister hospital (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust), one year data from March 2021 showed that there are on average 74 people with dementia a day on their wards  (Ruth Bradford, Admiral Nurse).



Every environment is different, and you may need advice to make the most of the ward layout and space available, but we are happy to helpContact Us