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.