chapter  Chapter 16
15 Pages

Continuing care review

A report on a thoughtful project and its untimely demise
ByJane Garner

This chapter reports a piece of work undertaken by a multidisciplinary group also involving relatives of patients and representatives from the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society. The remit of the Continuing Care Review was threefold; to improve the lives of patients in a dementia continuing care setting, many of whom with be there until the end of their life; to improve the working lives of staff on the ward, recognising that they have a difficult, frequently undervalued job; to improve the experience of relatives and friends of patients who may have problems coming to terms with the apparent differences overtime in the person’s dementia. The emphasis throughout was on the ‘individual’ while also attempting to identify a common humanity of all involved. There is a need for empathetic and understanding relationships with the inner world of the patients, the family and with staff. Unfortunately, the politics of the National Health Service intervened in the end. The document was withdrawn the day it was due to be printed with the consequence that it was not available to a wider audience. This miserable decision unknowingly made the point of the document - the importance of ‘thinking’. This is a summary of the work.