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”
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.
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.