As this month has progressed, something very noticeable has taken place: more and more hospital Leads have linked up with me to start getting their dementia care back up to the standard they aspire to, after all the upheaval of the last two years. Realism is crucial; they need to re-start from where they actually are, rather than where they imagine they might be. To do that, of course, they have to begin by establishing which staff are now where, because so many have moved or changed role during the pandemic.

Staff teams are going to need a lot of support and a lot of refreshed education, but all the evidence I have so far is that Leads are ready to put this in place. Listening to the Leads I’ve been linking up with, it’s very striking how excited they are to be back doing what they love most – optimising their dementia care.

As more family carers start accessing the wards again, it’s crucial that their informed input continues to be valued and harnessed for the good of the patient, so this really is a time for family carers to link up with Butterfly Scheme Champions and supportively let them know what’s working well or needs tweaking – but always remembering that perfection is going to take time after all the upheaval of the pandemic; the staff are really trying hard to get there.

I’m confident that those hospitals which were doing well before the pandemic will, before too long, again be delivering the standard of dementia care we’d come to expect and admire.