Dementia Academy

Dementia Care Mapping

Dementia Care Mapping: What you need to Know  


The Hull Dementia Academy was launched last year. The Academy is a single point of access for people living and working with people with dementia across Hull to receive information, training and workforce development.

Fourteen representatives have been trained to provide Dementia Awareness; our trainers come from a wide range of services including the Police; Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Fire Service, NHS, Hull City Council, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure the consistency of this Dementia training across Hull.

This is where our Dementia Ambassadors come in...

Our Ambassadors will help bring about change for people with dementia, their families and carers because they will receive the understanding, help and support they need from local services. The changes we require people to make will improve our services, our buildings, shops, parks and open spaces. The changes may be small or incremental but each individual change will add together to achieve a positive outcome for people with dementia.

The Academy is anticipating that every residential care home; domiciliary care agency, GP practice, Community and Acute hospital service will have a trained Dementia Ambassador.  Every one of our Ambassadors will take an active part in seeking and securing these changes; this might be in any number of ways: through dissemination of information, identifying improvements and leading or mentoring others to achieve a change for the better. We want persuasive people who can work alone or in a team to improve practice across the broad range of local services not just health and social care. Ambassadors will support colleagues and encourage positive attitudes to change culture, how we see and live with older people.

Twenty two representatives from key organisations have also been trained by Bradford University as Dementia Care Mappers who will help support our vision for change; these mappers are staff who work in Hull’s health and care services who in return for this training have agreed to use their skills as mappers across the wide range of Hull’s care services.  We have an agreed pathway for you to access our mappers, as we want to help you to identify changes you can make to improve local services

Referral Criteria

Annual Quality Assurance Map

A dementia care map in a Residential Home, Hospital Ward or Day Centre will be offered via the Hull Dementia Academy as part of the annual quality assessment process. This will help to promote higher standards of care, identify training needs and present the care provider with recommendations on improving the care experience.

  • Following the initial map the care provider will then be contacted annually for follow up mapping.
  • The service can expect to have a written report and feedback of the map.
  • Contract compliance or PALS could refer for an earlier map following concerns raised about the standard of care.

 Referrals should be via email to .


  • Following a Safeguarding Investigation strategy meeting a referral can be made to have a person or establishment dementia care mapped to assist with the monitoring of the care provider and the wellbeing of the individual.
  • Each referral will be assessed individually to plan how quickly the map should take place and who should receive the report.

 Referrals should be via email to

Supporting Requests to Manage Unmet Needs/ Continuing Health Funding

DCM can be used to assist with the assessment and plan of care for someone who is displaying unusual behaviours that are challenging for staff and other residents and where the home has requested extra funding to help support them meet the needs of a particular resident

A shorter observational map can be beneficial in identifying possible triggers or patterns in behaviour to contribute to the support plan. We are very keen to progress observational visits as a means of making best use of available resources. We want to see support provided to a person with dementia that is  effective and as unobtrusive as possible, helping to safely maintain their stay in their own home or a residential care setting

  • The referral should be made by the Social Worker or Continuing Health Nurse and can be made at short notice.
  • The observation, report and feedback will be completed within 5 days.

 Referral should be via email to

Dementia Care Mapping: A general overview

Please take the time to read this information. It outlines what dementia care mapping (DCM) is and how it is used. Please direct any questions you may have to a trained mapper who will be able to advise and assist you.

Background of DCM

Psychologists Tom Kitwood and Kathleen Bredin at the University of Bradford developed DCM in the early 1990’s. They designed an observation tool that looked at the care of people with dementia from the viewpoint of the person with dementia. These results can assist with the development of person -centred care.

The method itself draws on a value base of respecting personhood. It is possible that people with dementia, despite their disabilities, can experience a sense of well-being. For well-being to occur, care and attention must be focussed on the uniqueness of the person, their tastes, abilities and their choices. Crucial to the method is the belief that the social world that surrounds the person can have a positive or negative effect on well-being. DCM can help us to understand this world more clearly and assist us to develop care that is person- centred.

Well-being in dementia is viewed as a complex interaction of a person’s neurological state, their physical health, their personality, social world and background. DCM helps us to understand and learn more about these and helps us to plan our care.

The use of DCM

DCM can be used in a number of ways:

  1.  Assessment;
  2.  Development of care by repeated cycles of mapping;
  3.  Identification of training needs and staff development;
  4.  Quality assurance.

DCM is not unique to the United Kingdom. It is currently used across the globe. There are many different countries in which it is well established.

The process of DCM

DCM is an observational tool that is only used in ‘public’ areas of care environments. It usually involves one or two trained mappers sitting in areas such as a lounge or dining area and observing what happens to people with dementia over the course of a typical day. At the end of a period of observation the results are analysed and fed-back to the care team so that care can be developed.

Common Questions

Do I need to do anything ‘special’ when mapping is taking place?

No- mapping aims to capture what life is like for the person with dementia on a typical day. Care staff carry out their work as normal and DCM should not interfere with this.

Who is being observed?

The focus of mapping is on the person with dementia and their experience rather than care staff or visitors. DCM tries to highlight the experience from their point of view. What is recorded is how people with dementia are responding and reacting to the environment which they find themselves.

Will names be mentioned in feedback?

No-DCM tries to capture the social environment that surrounds the person with dementia. Names of care staff are not included at any time during the process. Names of service users are removed from any report that is seen by anyone other than the direct care team.

Who sees the results? 

The results of the mapping are owned jointly between the mappers and those directly responsible for care staff in the place being mapped. No one else is allowed to see the results unless this is agreed by the staff team.

Can I talk to the mappers while they are mapping?

Yes-absolutely. You are encouraged to discuss what mappers are doing and if you have any time it is sometimes good to sit and observe with the mappers. Mappers may find it difficult to discuss things at length while they are in the middle of an observation period. It may be better to discuss things with them during their breaks.

What about toilets, bedrooms, and bathrooms?

Mapping is only carried out in public areas. Mapping in areas where sensitive care practice is undertaken is strictly forbidden.

I am still feeling anxious about this- what can I do?

Talk to an experienced mapper who will discuss things with you. There is a lot of information around to help you to understand this. Alternatively you can contact or Tel: 01482 585166


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