The Northern Trust that tailors its care for those living with dementia

A North East Trust is committed to working with its partners to identify cognitive impairment in patients at the earliest opportunity.

In the latest national figures released by NHS Digital, Stockton and Hartlepool has been ranked fourth nationally as a region that is actively diagnosing patients who are living with dementia. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is part of this regional effort, with a commitment from all staff to ensure that patients are receiving the best level of care that is tailored to their needs.

The team of dementia specialists at the Trust work closely with colleagues across both hospital sites to identify people who might be experiencing memory issues and confusion, making sure that the necessary adjustments are then made to their care.

Working as part of a local dementia collaborative, the clinicians have unique access to data which allows them to identify dementia diagnoses that they may not have been aware of. As a digital first Trust, staff are using systems to then share this information so that all staff along the patient’s journey remain aware of their needs. An alert system is also in place to identify when a patient is experiencing delirium or has a history of the condition and this will remain on the system so staff know to screen the patient at future admissions.

The team have also introduced initiatives such as the ‘All about me’ and the ‘hospital passport’, a document which records the patient’s preferences and necessary adjustments. This follows them into the hospital, throughout their treatment and back out again, telling staff about their unique needs every step of the way.

The Trust also works closely with mental health and frailty teams so that patients can be followed up in the community with the necessary care, ensuring the GP refers them to the memory clinics. This ensures a formal diagnosis can be made and further assessments can be carried out if needed to provide the patient with a management plan

The Trust’s dementia lead delivers bespoke training to staff, to ensure that they all have an awareness of the condition. There are also dementia champions working across every single ward and out in the community too – this means that if you or your family are living with dementia and end up in their care, you can be sure that it is tailored to meet your needs.

Stuart Harper-Reynolds, Named Nurse Adult Safeguarding at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust explains ‘We work hard as a Trust to ensure that the care we deliver is centred entirely around our patients. A huge part of this is recognising that every person is different, and that personal needs vary from one case to the next. For people living with dementia, being admitted into hospital can be a very scary time. The initiatives that we have in place aim to improve their patient experience so that we can get them home safer, sooner.’

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