Improved support for patients with delirium recognised at HSJ Safety Awards

A project by Stockport community services to improve care and support for patients with delirium has been recognised in both national and local awards.

The Person Centred Community Delirium Pathway was shortlisted in the ‘Deteriorating Patients & Rapid Response Initiative’ category of the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards 2022, and the crisis response team who introduced it also won the ‘Improvement and Innovation’ award at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s own Making A Difference Every Day awards too.

The pathway was introduced by the crisis response team with the close involvement of Dementia United.  It involved introducing the Greater Manchester Community Delirium Toolkit for staff so that they could better recognise and screen symptoms of delirium in patients, which in turn leads to better treatment and management of the condition.

Delirium is a condition which causes a short-term confused state and develops over hours and days; as a result of underlying illness. Although people living with dementia are more likely to experience delirium, others can experience it too. It can often be mis-recognised as simply another presentation of dementia, rather than a separate condition requiring separate treatment. If undetected and treated, it can lead to much poorer outcomes.

Following a successful pilot in 2020, it has now been introduced to community teams across the Stockport area. It has helped to reduce hospital admission and readmission rates, reduce the need for long-term care,  and minimise distress, leading to a better patient experience. In helping to find symptoms of potentially life-threatening conditions sooner, and reduce mortality rates.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust were nominated together as the joint providers of the team and pathway.

Congratulations to the crisis response team in Stockport.  We are delighted that this team’s excellent work has been recognised both through the HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022 and Stockport’s own health awards. We know that the delirium toolkit has a vital role, both in helping to prevent people with delirium having to go to hospital where this can be avoided, and improving the quality and experience of their care. We were very pleased to be able to support this work through the Greater Manchester Dementia United Programme, and we are working to ensure that this resource is available across the whole of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care System. Warren Heppolette, Chief Officer for Strategy & Innovation, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care