About Us

Photograph of Barbara


This scheme was created by a carer who consulted with people in early-stage dementia, hundreds of carers of people with dementia and key healthcare professionals over a two-year period, to ensure that the scheme and its response were exactly what they hoped for; the hospitals already using the scheme have found – not surprisingly – that opt-in runs at or near 100%, but patients and carers must still be allowed to make that choice. The Butterfly symbol is an active request for support – empowerment of people with dementia and their carers to personalise the care they receive.

The Butterfly Scheme includes a simple adaptation, offering the same response to people with dementia who are unable to opt in because they have no carer, and there’s also a system allowing people with confusion – but no dementia diagnosis – to benefit from the scheme; hospitals value the impact on delirium care and referral rates to memory services are improved.

Everything needed to introduce the Butterfly Scheme is available, ready-made, and once a Trust or Health Board is accepted into the scheme it may print out all the copyrighted materials for use within its participating hospital(s). The scheme’s coordinator strongly supports scheme leaders towards and beyond implementation and visits each hospital to support delivery of the education package.

Across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, many hospitals have already committed to this very low-cost scheme. There is active collaboration between Butterfly Scheme leaders, including very popular regional group meetings at which members share news, views, successes and ideas for further improvements to hospital dementia care.


Which hospitals are members of the Scheme?

Because hospitals are members of the Scheme from the time they first decide to adopt it, but need some time to work towards launching and embedding the Scheme, no list is published as it could be misleading. The UK Butterfly Scheme Coordinator will always be happy to let people know which hospitals locally are members.

What does the Scheme include?

From the moment a hospital has decided to adopt the Scheme, everything needed to implement, launch and run it is provided in the form of templates. The UK Butterfly Scheme Coordinator provides unlimited support to the Butterfly Scheme Lead in each member hospital. All of this, plus the education, is provided as part of the initial package, then a minimal annual charge covers further support on an ongoing basis. The DH has also funded the creation of an evaluative system which is available to all member hospitals.

What are the costs?

Costs are kept to a minimum, because this is a not-for-profit organisation. Each hospital lead should apply to the UK Butterfly Scheme Coordinator to discuss what costs would be involved in bringing the Scheme to their hospital. Community hospitals can often be grouped together to share costs.

What does the training entail?

When a hospital decides to adopt the Butterfly Scheme, the Butterfly Scheme Lead at that hospital works with the Scheme’s UK Coordinator towards the launch date. On the day(s) of the launch, the Butterfly Scheme Coordinator and a carer-speaker colleague deliver multiple teaching sessions to as many staff as the hospital can send to them; because this is backed by a social enterprise, there is no limit to numbers receiving that teaching and no charge per head. The sessions are high-impact, interactive and enjoyable. We are often told that it’s the best training people have ever received. After launch day, the educations continues, partly via a range of materials provided by the Scheme and partly through the Butterfly Scheme Lead in the hospital, who is supported on an ongoing basis by the UK Butterfly Scheme Coordinator.

What are the details of the REACH response?

The REACH response is a summary of the skills the Scheme teaches. It acts as a handy reminder to staff applying those skills, but would not be effective for anyone who hadn’t done that learning. For that reason, it would not be of benefit to publish the REACH response where the learning has not taken place; its untrained use would misrepresent the effects it has within the Scheme.