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Countess Mountbatten House Hospice

Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity works in partnership with the NHS to fund specialist palliative care services for patients with life-limiting illnesses, under the care of Countess Mountbatten House. The Hospice serves a community in excess of 720,000 and our catchment spans 460 square miles. Services are provided through our Inpatient Unit and Day Hospice at the Hazel Centre; a Hospital Palliative Care Team at Southampton General Hospital and a Community Team who support patients in their own homes. This project relates only to the Inpatient Unit at present. Staff on the unit include consultant and junior doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

18 December 2016
Local Alliances:
Hampshire Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

As the prevalence of dementia in the general population increases, we are looking after more and more people on our inpatient hospice unit with the condition, either as a primary diagnosis of a life limiting condition, or as a co-morbidity alongside another illness (usually cancer).  We want to be able to give the best care we can for the people with dementia who are admitted into our unit, as well as offering the best support to their carers.  

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

We care for a broad range of patients, most of whom do not have dementia, so we need to be aware of balancing the needs of all our different patients.  Our team of staff is not specialised in dementia as our nurses are general nurses rather than mental health nurses, so we are not expert in this area.  By the nature of our work our patients are often very physically unwell and this can have a significant impact on their cognitive function, which can be particularly severe in patients with pre-existing dementias, so we are often looking after people who are functioning much worse, or who are more disturbed in their behaviour, than is usual for them.  

Member website


2. Actions

  • Dementia Awareness raising for staff

    We are arranging Dementia Friends training sessions to be available for all our volunteers and admin staff.  All of our nurses and health care assistants will shortly be having mandatory Dementia training through the University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.  

    Being implemented
  • Improving the provision of resources on the unit to help care for people with Dementia

    We want to develop the resources we have to improve the experience of people with dementia on the unit.  This will include a project to use IT to help with reminiscence therapy, enlisting our volunteers to make Twiddlemitts, and creating reminiscence boxes which can be offered to patients.

    Being implemented
  • Improving clinical experience of nursing staff

    We want our nurses to be able to have more hands-on experience in caring for dementia patients, and to learn best practice from the experts.  We are arranging for our nurses to work shifts at the Dementia Ward at SGH to learn from the team there about their approach.   We will also be creating a folder with information on dementia and ideas on good practice, e.g. guidance from the Alzheimer’s Society.

  • Use of ‘This is Me’ for all admissions with dementia

    We will aim for the This is Me tool to be completed for all admissions to the hospice with dementia, ideally in advance or shortly after admission if not.  

    Being implemented
  • Exploration of possibility of creating a specialised Dementia side room

    In the longer term, we would like to adapt one of our side rooms to be as suitable as possible for people with dementia, following the good practice guidelines that are available.