Once again, hospitals are coming under severe pressure. Many have taken significant steps towards rebuilding the dementia care reliability they had pre-pandemic, but inevitably that will now slip once more.  However, we’ve had positive experience this year in bringing lapsed and altered teams up-to-speed and we’ll do it all again when the Leads are ready.

It was particularly uplifting this month to meet virtually with a dementia care leadership team which has actually expanded; it’s piloting a new role to smooth the journeys in and out of hospital for people living with dementia. When even only a very small number of teams can dare to hope for actual improvement in services at such a time, it offers the chance for others to emulate their work once they’re in a position to do so. As regular readers will know, there’s a great spirit of collaboration within the Butterfly Scheme network, stretching across the UK and Ireland, and successful teams are always glad to model their improvements to others.

As ever, advice to carers during these challenging months is to ensure the hospital care team is made aware of you and your wish to remain involved throughout any hospital stay. If you can’t contact a Dementia Champion (often called Butterfly Champions in member organisations), ask the receptionist to link you with the Dementia Lead. Your guidance and knowledge will be valued and respected and will make the whole experience easier for all.

I wish everyone a safe and happy festive period and hope that 2022 brings us the chance to build upon the well-mapped foundations hospital dementia care now has.