Delirium

Filmed by Health Innovation Manchester

Delirium is a condition which causes a short-term confused state and develops over hours and days. It causes short term problems with memory, concentration, attention and personality. It occurs when a person is medically unwell and can be caused by several things, such as infections, pain or constipation. People living with dementia are more likely to experience delirium. People may go on to develop delirium, whether they are in hospital, in a care home or living at home.

Where delirium is not detected and treated, people’s outcomes are much poorer. Delirium can lead to increased hospitalisation and readmission, increased likelihood of placement in a care home and can make the symptoms of dementia worse. Prevention, early detection, standardised assessment and treatment all improve these outcomes.

Dementia United hosted three World Delirium Awareness Day events from 2018 to 2020, where we had 80 plus delegates, from across health and social care, as well as experts by experience. They all came together to start a conversation, raise awareness, share expertise as well as develop the work programme in delirium. In the first year, 62 pledges were made by delegates

“I will treat delirium as a medical emergency” (Care Home Unit Manager)

“I will build stronger communication links with relatives and community services” (Nurse Consultant)

“I will consider delirium when commissioning services” (Commissioning Manager)

Dementia United harnessed the momentum and engagement, from these events to produce a Greater Manchester approach to delirium which outlines Greater Manchester’s position on the recommendations for a person-centred pathway for those susceptible to delirium along with key standards. These key standards have been linked in to three project areas:

For more information please contact gmhscp.dementiaunited@nhs.net