Royal Cornwall Hospitals meet CQUIN targets for dementia care

22 April 2013

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is to become one of the first in the UK  to exceed all its Commissioning Quality for Innovation (CQUIN) targets for dementia care after implementing software from IMS MAXIMS.

The Department of Health's CQUIN requirements aim to help identify patients with dementia and other causes of cognitive impairment to enable a better referral process, reduced length of stays in hospital and effective follow-up care.

The trust opted to deploy an electronic rather than a paper-based system in order to provide enhanced data collection, ability to record findings, assessment and investigation and for its accurate referrals process. It also sought a system that ensured data is integrated with day-to-day management of patients; using information to ensure efficient, effective services at all times as well as allowing clinical staff to act on their findings, in order to care for patients to the highest standards possible.

The dementia system prompts healthcare professionals to make relevant assessments for people with suspected dementia, while guiding them to the correct care pathway.

The Department of Health's CQUIN payment framework incentivises the identification of patients with dementia as well as prompting appropriate referral and follow-up. It is now being extended to show how quality dementia care is being delivered.

Frazer Underwood, associate director of nursing and consultant nurse for older people at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said: "This system means we are able to ensure that all patients over 75 years old are identified, assessed and referred as appropriate. It enables us to increase the early identification of people with dementia. In Cornwall, we have 10% more older people than the national average and the prevalence of dementia correlates with that higher figure.”

Dementia affects an estimated 670,000 people in England alone, with this figure expected to double in the next 30 years. This is already resulting in more than 25% of general hospital beds at any one time being occupied by patients who have been diagnosed with dementia.


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