An acute hospital setting is not the right place for someone with severe challenging dementia. However more often than not this is where individuals with the disease end up.

The path to receiving the right care and support isn’t always as straightforward as it should be; however smoothing that path is Hilton Nursing Partners.

Working in partnership with local councils and NHS Trusts, Hilton Nursing Partners help those in acute hospital settings make their own decisions with their families about the next steps in their care.

One recent success saw Hilton Nursing Partners intervene when an 88 year old lady attended her GP reporting abdominal pain and nausea. During her appointment she fainted, then fainted a second time upon returning home, at this point she was rightly admitted to hospital to check for any underlying medical problem.

Whilst in hospital she was keen to remain independently mobile and would wander around the wards. Having removed her hospital wristband was mistaken for a visitor until it became clear she was a patient who was displaying severe confusion and agitation due to her wish to return home.

At this point a best interest meeting was conducted with a DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty and Safeguards), at which time Hilton Nursing received a referral to assess the patient for discharge to the Home to Decide pathway.

After conducting a home risk assessment Hilton confirmed the patient’s home was suitable for her to return and the patient should be discharged to return home with support from Hilton Nursing.

Ann Taylor, CEO of Hilton Nursing Partners says: “Hospital can be a disorientating environment for most people, clearly it’s unfamiliar in everyway, it’s clinical, it smells differently, it’s full of strangers, and most of the time it’s an incredibly stressful place to be. Our aim is always to provide patients with options to make their own decisions about how they are cared for. Home is usually the best place, recovery is much quicker, and it’s easier to assess ongoing needs if required.”

The patient came home, but after five days her husband became ill and was removed to a rehab bed where he could recover and recuperate. Authorities confirmed his wife would need to be sectioned immediately. The options were limited. She couldn’t stay in her home alone. We worked all day to secure an emergency placement in a care home for her but by 5pm on a Friday we couldn’t find a place and the Local Authority had left for the weekend. The directive was that she should be taken back to A&E!

Acute setting is not the right place for someone with severe challenging dementia so we made a decision, we didn’t take her to the hospital for her own safety. We rang a local care home who had a bed and enough staff to look after her during the weekend whilst the county placement team and local authority came back into work on Monday morning.

Ann Taylor, CEO of Hilton Nursing Partners says: “We’re always looking for solutions, it may not have been the easiest path but it was the best path for our patient. Thankfully the local council agreed to the weekend placement and we dealt with the whole transfer process.

“Delivering safe and timely hospital discharge support via our Home to Decide service is our business, but our priority is always the wellbeing of the patient. Home was no longer the best place but we were keen to ensure she was placed in an appropriate environment. Once we knew our patient was in a safe place, specifically designed for people with dementia, we were happy.”