Sarah Waller CBE


Associate Specialist

School of Allied Health and Community

Association for Dementia Studies

Contact Details

tel: 01905 542531

Sarah Waller is an Associate Specialist at the Association for Dementia Studies with a particular interest in developing enabling environments for people living with dementia.

She developed and directed The King's Fund's award winning, internationally recognised Enhancing the Healing Environment (EHE) programme from its inception in 2000 to its transfer the University of Worcester in 2015. From 2009 the EHE programme focused on developing more supportive design for people with dementia. Sarah led the development of the dementia friendly environmental assessment tools which are now in use nationally and internationally.

Sarah has had a long and distinguished career in the NHS and Department of Health both in nursing and human resource management. She is a Trustee of Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity and chairs their Arts and Design Committee. A former NHS Trust vice chair and member of the independent Liverpool Care Pathway Review Panel, she was appointed CBE in 2008 for services to Nursing and the NHS.


  • Registered General Nurse
  • MA
  • BA (hons)

Knowledge transfer, teaching and research

As part of the enabling environments programme Sarah's work has included a range of environmental reviews for care homes and extra care housing as well as the development of dementia friendly design standards for a range of clients. In 2020 Sarah undertook a review of the EHE environmental assessment tools and developed an additional tool for gardens and outdoor spaces in 2021. She works with clients to create bespoke dementia friendly environmental assessment tools including the development of 'Dementia Friendly Village Halls - A Guide and Checklist' with local charities. Sarah was part of the ADS team which supported the development and evaluation of the Worcester Dementia Dwelling Grants.

She is a frequent conference chair and speaker and through her work with the DAA Dementia Friendly Hospitals Task Force. She contributes to a range of teaching activities at the University including the Dementia Studies Foundation Degree, commissioned education programmes and workshops for a variety of clients.

Publications and dissemination

Evans, S.C., Waller, S. and Bray, J. (2021). Designing inclusive environments for people living with dementia: how much do we really know? Working with Older People, online

Evans, S., Waller, S., Bray, J. and Atkinson, T. (2019). Making Homes More Dementia-Friendly through the Use of Aids and Adaptations. Healthcare 2019, 7, 43.

Waller, S., Masterson, A. and Evans, S. (2016). The development of environmental assessment tools to support the creation of dementia friendly care environments: Innovative practice. Dementia. 16. 10.1177/1471301216635829.

Waller, S. and Masterson, A. (2015). Designing dementia-friendly hospital environments. Royal College of Physicians Future Hospital Journal, 2(1), 63–68.

Waller, S. and Masterson, A. (2014). Contact with the Natural World within Hospital Care In M, Marshall and G Gilliard G Creating Culturally Appropriate Outside Spaces and Experiences for People with Dementia London: Jessica Kingsley

The Kings Fund (2014). Is your ward dementia friendly? The EHE Assessment Tool

Masterson, A., Waller, S. and Grisley, M. (2013), Improving environments: new tools for the job, The Journal of Dementia Care, 21(4).

Waller, S., Masterson, A. and Finn, H. (2013). Improving the patient experience: Developing supportive design for people with dementia: The King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme 2009-2012. London: The King’s Fund.


Input to: Alzheimer's Disease International (2020). World Alzheimer Report 2020: Design, Dignity, Dementia: dementia-related design and the built environment volume 1 (Evans, S., Waller, S., Atkinson, T.)

Evans, S.C., Bray, J., Waller, S. and Atkinson, T. (2018). An independent evaluation of the Dementia Dwelling Grants pilot programme: Final report. Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester

External responsibilities

  • Trustee CW+ The charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chair Arts and Design Committee and member of Grants Committee CW+
  • Judge: Building Better Healthcare Awards
  • Fellow Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)