Secondary Care

Digital tool to help spot signs of delirium to be rolled out in Greater Manchester

A digital tool to help spot signs of delirium quickly is to be rolled out to two hospitals in Greater Manchester following success in Salford.

The digital tool will support all patients aged 65 or over or with a diagnosis of dementia on admission to hospital. It will now be rolled out to Wythenshawe, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Bolton Hospital, part of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to ensure more patients are diagnosed as soon as they arrive at hospital with serious brain failure, known as delirium.

There are almost 10,000 hospitals admissions across Greater Manchester each year involving delirium in the over 65 population.

Since the Salford project launched in 2017, the number of delirium cases identified has risen by 650 per year, an increase of 34%. Readmissions for delirium patients have reduced from 15% to 13% saving an estimated £184,000 in the first year.

Dr Emma Vardy, Consultant Geriatrician and Clinical Dementia Lead, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said “Delirium is a serious clinical condition, but we can improve outcomes and reduce the amount of time patients spend in hospital if we identify and treat patients quicker.”

“We have worked hard to develop and test the assessment tool and we are delighted to be able to share it with other organisations and enable them to use it to help improve care for more patients in Greater Manchester.”

Dr Gopalakrishnan Deivasikamani, Clinical Lead for Delirium at the Royal Bolton Hospital “The aim is to treat delirium as a medical emergency and to do 4AT assessments as soon as possible for patients aged over 65. This will be done in close conjunction with the Emergency Department and training will be soon underway.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to improve the assessment and management of delirium at the front door, but it does have its challenges. The frailty team will help with assessments and training and as with every development, we are taking one step at a time. Think Delirium – Call it a Delirium.”

Health Innovation Manchester is supporting the roll-out, delivery and implementation.

Dr Tracey Vell, Clinical Director of Health Innovation Manchester  “The early detection tool for delirium is a fantastic example of an innovation developed within Greater Manchester which has the potential to improve care for patients and reduce the amount of time patients need to spend in hospital and maximising NHS time and resources.”