Press release – 23 May 2018
Wye Valley NHS Trust is taking steps to become more dementia friendly by teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote Dementia Action Week (May 21 to 27) in hospitals and community services across Herefordshire.
Last year, the Trust, and local organisations, joined the Alzheimer’s Society and made a Herefordshire map of pledges, and Herefordshire achieved ’Working to become Dementia Friendly status’.
To mark this year’s Dementia Action Week, healthcare staff at the Trust are holding stands throughout the week at Hereford County Hospital main reception and restaurant, with specially trained staff on hand to offer advice to patients and carers.
Nurses, healthcare assistants, and nursing sisters, have already signed up to the Herefordshire map of pledges about the action they will take to make everyday life better for patients and visitors affected by dementia.
Herefordshire map of pledges has been on display at The Courtyard Theatre for the Arts at the recent Remember Me Event. People will continue to be asked to commit to action and add their action photo throughout the week.
Sarah Clinton, Patient Safety and Risk Facilitator and Dementia Champion at WVT, said: “Coming into hospital can be a difficult time for patients with dementia when they are staying in unfamiliar surroundings. Spending extra time with their family can help to reduce any anxiety or stress they may be experiencing.
“This is just one of a number of steps we have taken to ensure that dementia awareness is embedded across our organisation, so that we can improve experiences and outcomes for people with dementia locally.
“Relatives and carers of patients with dementia can visit and stay at Hereford County Hospital round the clock as their visiting times are not restricted and there are reclining chairs available for overnight stays. In addition to our accommodation available for relatives, we have 32 specially trained dementia nurses and champions to provide the right care and support to help patients who are being cared for in hospital with dementia”.
Julie Allen, sister outpatients department at WVT, added: “We also aim to ensure that people with dementia feel supported and cared for when attending outpatient appointments. Clinic appointments may be the first experience that patients encounter when coming to hospital, so it is essential to create a welcoming and nurturing environment. Our outpatient staff work hard to ensure that they care for each patient as an individual, rather than a patient with dementia. Staff take time to listen and communicate with people who have dementia and use the available resources to help patients to reminisce, such as photograph albums and twiddle mitts, which are available in our outpatient department”.
Ginnie Jaques, Services Manager Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are pleased to unite with Wye Valley NHS Trust to increase dementia awareness and understanding.
“The Herefordshire map of action involves organisations, charities and the voluntary sector across the county making pledges to encourage people in every town, village and street in the county to make a pledge that will make everyday life better for people affected by dementia.
“Uniting together last year in this way has helped us to achieve ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ status. This is a great step forward for the county. Organisations who unite with us in signing up to and implementing a Dementia Alliance Action plan can receive window stickers advertising their commitment to being dementia friendly”.
Sue Strachan, who is living with vascular dementia and took part in the London Marathon raising £13,500 for Alzheimer’s Research, attended the Trust’s event and helped spread awareness of dementia. If you would like to make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/strawny Dementia Revolution has been named the Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year for 2019.
Left to right: Lucy Flanagan – WVT director of nursing, Sue Strachan, Ginnie Jaques - Services Manager Alzheimer’s Society, Sarah Clinton - WVT patient safety and risk facilitator and dementia champion, and Sarah Holliehead – WVT divisional nurse director.
Note to editors:
Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.
The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
Wye valley NHS Trust communications team 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 x5105.