Improving care for patients with dementia

The Trust is going above and beyond in helping improve care for patients with dementia – with specialist champions now in place in every ward area.

The trust has trained at least one representative in every ward area, with some wards having multiple dementia champions.

Over the last three years, 170 staff have been trained in advanced dementia awareness– including doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, specialist nurses, ward clerks and porters.

The training is run by dementia specialist nurse Stephen Nicholson, community dementia nurse Janette McGuire and occupational therapist Nicola Murphy.

The two-day course, endorsed by Health Education England, includes training around communication, understanding, and supporting patients who are living with dementia.

Stephen said: “What we have achieved over the last three years has been nothing short of fantastic.

“At that time we had no staff who were trained to this higher level – now we have at least one champion in every clinical area in the acute trust, and there are many community staff from Stockton and Hartlepool that have taken this knowledge to Out of Hospital Care.

“It’s a phenomenal achievement. Staff have embraced the training and have recognised its importance, resulting in a lengthy waiting list for future sessions.

“Sadly, the numbers of patients with dementia is increasing. We need to do more to understand this very complex condition so that we are providing the very best care to our patients, and support for their families.

“Thank you to all staff involved – you really are champions!”

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