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Trust creates new team of dementia nursing assistants

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has created 10 new healthcare assistant posts at its Queen’s Hospital site to work exclusively with patients with dementia.

The new staff members will provide additional resources to the trust’s existing specialist dementia team in order to help care for the increasing number of older people with the condition locally.

“We are now recruiting 10 full-time equivalent nursing assistants who will form a specially-trained, enhanced nursing care team to work exclusively with patients with dementia”

Julie Thompson

It is expected that the new team will be in place and operating by November. It will provide enhanced care for patients but also result in overall savings as one-to-one care for patients with dementia is currently provided by agency nurses.

Trust head nurse Julie Thompson said: “When people with dementia have to be admitted to hospital as a result of another illness or injury they can become very distressed and confused and often need one-to-one nursing.

“So we are now recruiting 10 full-time equivalent nursing assistants who will form a specially-trained, enhanced nursing care team to work exclusively with patients with dementia,” she said.

“This will improve our ability to consistently provide the right care for patients at the right time from the right team,” she added.

Over the last 12 months, the trust has been developing the care it provides for dementia patients.

The trust is currently piloting the new role of activities co-ordinator working with people with dementia.

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sharon Hutchings

Sharon Hutchings spends time one-to-one with patients, playing card games and dominoes and making cards and other craft activities. Where there is a space for patients and their visitors to gather, she is organising small group craft sessions.

Ms Hutchings said: “The patients clearly enjoy the games and crafts activities and we’ve had lots of positive feedback from their relatives and carers.”

In addition, the trust has a “dementia champion” on every adult ward and has acquired RemPods – pop-up reminiscence rooms – to help patients with dementia relax and stimulate long term memories.

Nurses have been organising musical memories sessions and other activities for patients with dementia.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Love to do that, more than Registered Nursing as it is closer to social care, which is the background that I had.

    It is v. difficult to get jobs unusual jobs within hospitals unless you are already in the door. I should like to know more about this, and how one can train for this role. Is there to be a Cert/DipHE NHS-funded role that would focus on this role? It sounds a bit ad-hoc at this point. I assumed it was in-house training here, as it didn't specify.

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  • I think it will be level two c s w's looking after clients in a group or 1-1 basices. looking after all their needs and stimulating the clients and motivating,helping will feeding if need help. and ther will be in-house up-dates and falls bundles to complete ect until the client leaves the hospital

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  • The Nursing Services Advisor of the Public Hospitals Authority says thank you to Nursing Times.net for continually keeping care of older adults as focus on the Online Page.
    We are now in efforts to bring the needs of older people to the forefront of care and agrees that all care givers must be aware of Dementia in Older persons. Last week we had our first Summit on "Dementia! I need to Know" where 50 plus nurses, social workers, doctors, nurse educators, Housing and the Bahamas Council for Older persons got together to increase awareness. A major Training and Public Education Campaign is planned beginning October 2014 to continue on the path to improve care of older persons with Dementia. We are particularly excited with the news that Burton Hospital has added 10 post of Health Care Assistants specifically to join the Team caring for patients with Dementia. This provides more evidence for the role of the Health Care Assistant in the institutions as they can play a added role for patients with Dementia, who are admitted into hospitals for other illness. It is encouraging to note that the challenge is not only in The Bahamas with the older adult .
    Thank you Nursing times .net and the author for sharing.
    Willamae T. Stuart
    Nursing Services Advisor, Public Hospitals Authority, Nassau the Bahamas

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