Evaluation of the Connolly Hospital Dementia Pathways Project
Research team
Prof Anne-Marie Brady, Dr Mairéad Bracken-Scally, Dr Brian Keogh, Mr Brendan Kennelly, Dr Louise Daly, Dr Geralyn Hynes, Dr Amanda Drury, Dr Aurelia Ciblis, Prof Mary McCarron

Evaluation: Connolly Hospital Dementia Pathways

School of nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin and Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway

The Connolly Hospital Dementia Pathways project led by Dr Siobhán Kennelly was funded through a grant by the Genio Trust with the support of The Atlantic Philanthropies and the HSE. The project aimed to develop key services and roles, as well as utilise existing services within the hospital and community to drive the development and implementation of an Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) for people with dementia and their carers. The project’s main objectives were to: 

  1. Develop an ICP for people with dementia with a clear governance framework between acute hospital and community services,
  2. Improve the experience of the person with dementia and their family carer through early identification of patients with dementia, key clinical guidelines, person-centred care and a dementia-friendly environment,
  3. Provide out-patient care for people with dementia,
  4. Provide education across the community and acute hospital to enhance the care and treatment of people with dementia.

To achieve its aims, the Connolly Hospital Dementia Pathways project incorporated a number of components including:

  • An ICP for dementia care, including a Memory Assessment and Support Service,
  • Dementia-friendly environmental changes,
  • A range of dementia education and awareness raising activities, and
  • Project-specific roles.
Key Points
  • While there was increased identification of delirium through the use of the 4AT tool, this was predominantly within the Emergency Department (ED) setting only. 

  • While the project’s focus was not intensively within ED the project did impact on the improvement of dementia care through the ICP in the ED. 

  • The Dementia/Delirium Care Bundle (DDCB), and the personal profile therein, resulted in numerous positive impacts on patient care.

  • The newly developed Memory Assessment and Support Service (MASS) enabled integration and continuity of care to be provided to service users. It also supported hospital avoidance in a number of cases.

  • The project roles, in particular the DNS role, were critical for the success of the project.

  • The positive impact of the environmental changes implemented as part of the project was evident in interviews with service providers and service users.

Findings Summary

8-page summary of key findings also available.

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