Published: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Chair blog: Dementia awareness at the Golden Jubilee

 

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At the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, we are dedicated not only to providing patient centred care, but to providing equality in the standard of care received by all patients who come through our doors.

 

With this in mind, we were proud to support Dementia Awareness Week 2014 which aims to increase awareness and support for individuals and families affected by this life changing disease.  This month’s blog will focus on just some of the steps we have taken to ensure that equality of care is delivered across our services.

 

A crucial part of ensuring patients have the best experience possible is delivering appropriate training and encouraging our team to take every opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill-set. Continuing our dedication to creating a skilled and diverse workforce, we were delighted to announce that another three members of our team have graduated from the prestigious Dementia Champions programme.

 

Staff NursePamela Gildea, Senior Physiotherapist Katie Lyon and Senior Occupational Therapist Claire Murray join the list of Champions currently working at the Golden Jubilee. The Dementia Champions Course was commissioned by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and aims to improve the experiences and outcomes of care and treatment for the growing number of people with dementia being cared for  inScotland’s acute hospitals.

 

Several members of staff have also completed the Best Practice in Dementia Care Course provided by the University of Stirling; a one day course which allows members of the team to work alongside members of a dementia charities and individuals from different hospital departments to gain a fuller understanding of exactly how Dementia can impact different areas within a hospital setting. The accredited course also consists of facilitated classes, self-study and practical application within the healthcare support worker’s own hospital department.

 

While it is essential that we continue to develop our workforce to ensure we deliver excellent, patient centred care, there is much more behind ensuring patients suffering from dementia have a positive experience. In recent years we have been dedicated to implementing a comprehensive strategy to ensure every step of a patient’s journey meets their specific requirements.

 

Some of the areas highlighted within our action plan include the addition of Dementia Friendly Rooms to our ward areas; to date these have been implemented on Wards 3 East and West, with work ongoing to expand this to the rest of our areas.

 

Our job is to treat the person, not simply the medical condition. So we have made a concerted effort to encourage the use of the “Getting to Know Me” questionnaire. This allows our team to learn the likes and dislikes of a patient, gaining some insight into their personality before any major decisions are made regarding their care. We have also recently implemented the policy of giving any patient over 65 the Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT4); this allows us to raise any possible cognitive concerns we may have with the patient’s GP and allow them to receive the care and support they need.

 

Most important however, is our ongoing dedication to working alongside the patient’s family, loved ones or carers to ensure that their needs are never compromised throughout their time at the Golden Jubilee. 

 

This is not just for those suffering from Dementia; we support several campaigns and causes throughout the year, and have many team members involved with the specialised care for a range of complex individual needs. This is all part of our work to develop and improve our services for the benefit of all of our patients and their families. 

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