Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is piloting a new booklet to provide better dementia care in its hospitals.
It is hoped that the About Me booklet will help staff to communicate appropriately with people with dementia, helping to reduce any feelings of agitation or distress.
The booklet is filled out and given to staff when a patient goes onto a ward. It is intended to provide a “snapshot” of the person, helping staff to learn about their habits, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
The initiative is based on what staff and carers have told the trust would help them to respond to the needs of dementia patients.
Dementia practitioner Margaret Meixner said: “Staff can sometimes find it difficult to engage and care for people with dementia. We hope ‘About me’ will support staff to provide the best possible quality of care, by helping them to get to know the individual and understand their needs.”
Initially, the booklet will be used on elderly care, and trauma and orthopaedics wards at the trust’s Heartlands and Good Hope Hospital for a three month period. If successful, it will then be rolled out across all the trust’s sites as part of its new dementia and delirium strategy.
The Birmingham trust has estimated that one in four patients within its bed occupancy have dementia or confusion, or both.