Going into Hospital

If you attend hospital and you are over the age of 75 years you will be asked if you have had difficulty with your memory in the last 12 months that has had a significant impact on your life.  The answer to the question will indicate whether you will benefit from an assessment of your memory in hospital and perhaps a referral on for further investigation.  This process is aimed at identifying difficulties early on so these can be investigated.

When going into hospital people with Dementia have described how they can feel much more confused and disoriented, how the ward feels very busy and they often do not know who to talk to, or who to ask for help.

Family and Carers of people who have Dementia have stated that they would prefer to visit their relative on the ward during times that they can help, such as mealtimes. They have also requested that they be involved in all decision making around treatment and care planning.  Family would also like options of staying at night with their relative.

The trust supports John’s campaign for the right of people to stay with relatives with dementia who are in hospital.

East Lancashire Hospital Trust have listened to people with Dementia and their Carers and are making many improvements within

  • Royal Blackburn Hospital
  • Burnley General Hospital
  • Accrington Victoria Hospital
  • Clitheroe Community Hospital
  • Pendle Community Hospital.

Some of these developments include :

Dementia Link persons are on every ward, linking together to form the Dementia Link persons Network.

The Butterfly Scheme

Butterfly scheme logo

The Butterfly Scheme was established by a Carer called Barbara Hodgkinson.  People with Dementia, people who are experiencing confusion, their family and carers can opt on to the scheme. Family and carers will be encouraged to provide personal, practical information that will be recorded in a document called ‘This Is Me’. The document will sit at the end of the patients bed. A butterfly will be placed near the patients bed and in their notes to alert staff that the patient may require additional support and to aplly the Dementia training that they have received.

Please ask staff about the Butterfly Scheme if you are in hospital.

logoAlzheimer’s Society has a leaflet to support people with dementia who are going into hospital. Click here to download your own copy of “This Is Me”.

The also produce a factsheet ‘Care on a hospital ward’ .


There are volunteers within the hospital that are enthusiastic about supporting people who have Dementia and have received Dementia training. Volunteers can help in lots of ways, including reading to patients, helping at mealtimes, including patients in activities or going for walks around the ward / hospital.

Enquire on the ward about the volunteer service.

It is important for us to have your feedback regarding stays in hospital. If you wish to share your experience please contact Healthwatch Lancashire  the public voice on health and social care in the county with the role to listen and the power to significantly influence change within the health and social care system. Contact Healthwatch if you want to have your say.

Contact them by telephone on 01524 239100 or by email info@healthwatchlancashire.co.uk

Residents of Blackburn with Darwen are served by Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen.

Contact us by telephone on 01254 504985 or by email info@healthwatchbwd.co.uk

Share Your Experience 

If you would like to discuss your experience of a recent hospital stay then contact Sandra Nuttall on 07966 417530 or email sandra.nuttall@elht.nhs.uk