Doctors create innovative hospital ‘passport’ for older patients

Doctors have designed an innovative hospital ‘passport’ to help improve personal care and support for older patients at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

The project, funded by the Wessex School of Quality Improvement, is being run by Dr Beth McCausland, a quality improvement fellow in dementia care, and Dr Vicki Osman-Hicks, a consultant in older people’s mental health.

The seven-page document – which will be launched next month – outlines, from the patient’s perspective, what they would like staff to know about them and their care to help personalise their admission.

It was developed within the medicine for older people (MOP) department at Southampton General Hospital and is based on practices introduced for people with dementia, such as using a ‘This is me’ document to support more personalised care and support.

Patients will be asked to complete information such as a brief history of their lives, including family, jobs, places they have lived and pets, hospital services they may find helpful such as Pets As Therapy, chaplaincy visits and activities they enjoy.

Among the detailed health and social care sections covered are care received outside of hospital, home situation, levels of eyesight and hearing and any diagnoses of dementia or other mental health conditions.

Patients will also be asked to disclose ways they show pain or distress and the things that help to comfort them.

Lastly, clinicians will record patients’ mobility history over the past six months and any requirements during their admissions, how they take their medications, any help they need with washing and dressing and support for eating and drinking.

Passport summary pg

Key parts of the log, including what the patient likes to be called, will then be summarised on the final page and placed in a laminated pocket in their bedside folders. It will then be available on the electronic record system for any future hospital admissions.

“Our hospital passport innovation is intended for all older people – not just those with dementia – to bring greater person-centred care planning and support for this patient group,” said Dr Osman-Hicks, who is dementia lead in MOP.

“It takes all of the learning and established practice in dementia to a wider group to improve patient and carer quality of care and experience and we are very grateful to Dr McCausland for her work in developing the idea.”

She added: “Lots of vital work has been carried out over recent years to address the needs of older patients with dementia and we have looked at how that can and should be adapted to cater for all older people in hospital.

“The hospital passport is a great way for clinicians to get to know more about the person they are treating as a whole alongside their clinical needs and we are all extremely excited about its potential.”