Evaluation of the Cork Integrated Dementia Care Across Settings (Cork-IDEAS) Project
Research team
Prof Anne-Marie Brady, Dr Louise Daly, Dr Brian Keogh Mr, Brendan Kennelly, Dr Aurelia Ciblis, Dr Amanda Drury, Dr Geralyn Hynes, Dr Mairéad Bracken-Scally, Ms Chiara Pittalis, Prof Mary McCarron

Evaluation: Cork Integrated Dementia Care Across Settings

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

The Cork Integrated Dementia Care Across Settings project (Cork-IDEAS) project led by Dr Suzanne Timmons aimed to develop and deliver enhanced integrated care for people living with dementia. It ran for three and a half years from 2014 to 2017, and was situated within the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) Cork and linked community setting. The aims of the project were to:

  1. Develop an integrated care pathway for people with dementia with a clear governance framework between acute hospital and community services, reflective of opportunities for appropriate supported acute hospital avoidance, supported discharge policies, education and training needs for staff, and a formal system for gathering information pertinent to caring for people with dementia.
  2. Provide alternatives to unnecessary hospital admission for the person with dementia.
  3. Improve the experience of the people with dementia and families/informal carers during hospital admission.
  4. Provide a clear template for other areas to replicate/adapt the process.

To achieve its aims, Cork-IDEAS incorporated a number of components, including:

  • An Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) for Dementia Care,
  • A range of dementia education and awareness raising activities,
  • Environmental changes within MUH,
  • A number of project-specific roles including: a Dementia Nurse Specialist (DNS) within MUH, a Community Dementia Care Co-ordinator (CDCC) and an Occupational Therapist (OT) to oversee environmental changes.
  • A volunteer service overseen by a volunteer service co-ordinator.
Key Points
  • Clear project governance with responsibility for project components designated to identifiable personnel were key factors in the project outcomes achieved.
  • An ICP for Dementia Care was developed, piloted and implemented in the Emergency Department and three hospital wards in MUH.
  • The activities which fed into the development of the ICP for Dementia Care ensured that it was attuned to both the person with dementia’s journey and the organisational structures within MUH.
  • The ICP piloting and its subsequent introduction in practice were centrally supported by the DNS and the enhanced level of dementia awareness achieved by other project activities.
  • While evidence from multiple sources supported the use of the ICP, Dementia Care Bundle (DCB) and ‘This is Me’ document where introduced, the degree of implementation was variable.
  • The role of the DNS evolved to be multifunctional encompassing: Cork-IDEAS project activities, provision of person-centred care, support of the ICP and DCB development and implementation, and education and consultancy.
Findings Summary

8-page summary of the key findings also available.

19-21 Westland Square
Pearse St., Dublin 2, D02 YH27, Ireland
Phone +353 1 707 1700
Email [email protected]