Dementia Strategy

Springfield House, Houghton-le-Spring

Dementia Strategy

At Springfield House our shared vision is that by 2016 we will be a fully integrated and completely ‘Dementia Friendly’ organisation recognised for consistently delivering; safe, personal and effective care.

  • We will deliver individualised care that supports both the person with dementia and provides easily accessible family support.
  • We will refresh our approach to communication by listening, involving and engaging people with dementia and their families to improve dementia care.
  • We are a ‘Dementia Friendly’ organisation with environments that promote better outcomes, reducing episodes of avoidable harm for residents with dementia. We follow guidelines and good practices of DSDC of Stirling University. (
  • We are and will continually developing further professional partnerships to improve collaborative working and improved integrated pathways of care.
  • We will continue to develop a skilled and effective workforce to champion compassionate, safe, personal and effective care to our residents.

The ‘National Dementia Strategy 2009’ identified the need for dementia awareness to be improved in all local areas with a vision that all people with dementia and their carers should be supported to ‘live well.’

Our strategy is driven by the need to make changes within our organisation to ensure all residents receive care that is safe, personal and effective and thereby promotes ‘living well.’

At Springfield House we strive to give good quality information to our residents, their families, friends and carers about the condition and the availability of local services as well as support groups.

A dementia ‘Advisor’ or “Appointed Person” has been appointed at Springfield House, who will be able to provide information, advice and support about dementia.

Our dementia advisor is Mrs Karen Wilson who is someone with who anyone at Springfield House can approach for help and advice at any stage of “their journey”.

Maintaining good relationships between all relatives, friends and Springfield House, in supporting the on-going relationship between loved ones and the person with dementia will have important benefits to the resident, their family and our staff.

Staff communication and daily interaction with people with dementia has a major positive impact on quality of life.

Leadership, the ethos of the home, staff training, support and development are crucial factors in supporting and thus ensuring best practice.

  • All our staff will have completed Dementia Awareness, including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty (Dols), education sessions at levels appropriate to their role by 2016.
  • We will through our identified dedicated skilled Dementia Champion, ensure our staff, people living with dementia and their families, are invited to attend dementia champion network sessions.
  • We will provide peer support and education sessions through our Champion Network.
  • We will produce and implement a Training Framework to ensure that all staff meet national requirements for training in Dementia including a knowledge of current memory enhancing medications.

All staff at Springfield House involved in the care of people who may have dementia will have the necessary skills and support readily available to ensure that we provide the best quality care.

Use of Anti- Psychotic Medication:

Behavioural disturbances in dementia are very common and a significant cause of stress to other residents and staff.

At Springfield House – We do not condone or support the inappropriate use of anti-psychotic drugs for people with dementia!!

People with dementia will frequently experience behavioural and often disturbing psychological symptoms of dementia such as aggression, agitation, loss of inhibitions and psychosis (delusional disturbances). 90% of people with dementia will experience some, if not all, of these symptoms at some point, and they are particularly prevalent in people in the later stages of the condition.

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These symptoms can be extremely distressing for the person and their families, as well as putting the person at risk. Other treatments and care approaches can help prevent behavioural disturbance from occurring, or at least help to manage them without needing to resort to anti-psychotic medication.

Whilst there is obviously a place for medication in certain circumstances, this should never be the ‘first or easy option.’

At Springfield House, we propose to address these problems and improve the quality of mental health care for residents by:

  • Rapid review of all residents admitted to the home who are taking anti- psychotic medication
  • Regular six monthly mental health reviews of all residents in conjunction with their GP
  • Formulation of non-pharmacological management strategies for behavioural disorders in dementia, to avoid the initiation of anti-psychotic medication.
  • To create a more therapeutic calming environment.

In accordance with NICE Guidance, we will monitor the prescribing of anti-psychotic medications for the management of behaviour disturbance.

End of Life Care

People with dementia and their families or advocate are to be involved in the planning of their personal end of life care. We have a designated End of Life Specialist at Springfield House, Mrs Glenda Hall can be contacted at any time for advice and information.

Residents are to be supported and cared for by a highly trained workforce with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of dementia in addition to palliative care and emotional support, in order to offer best quality care and support at every stage of the person’s journey.


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