Patient safety

28.11.19

Dementia champions – improving care and understanding

Successful training programme has provided numerous dementia champions across North Tees and Hartlepool NHS trust.

A Dementia Champion is a health and/or social care worker that has taken part, supported by Health Education England, in the training which covers training around communication, understanding and supporting patients who are living with dementia.

A further 65 staff members have this year been trained by specialist dementia nurse Stephen Nicholson and community dementia nurse Janette McGuire on their two-day course.

The course has now been running for four years and has provided training for nearly 300 staff members across the organisation.

Stephen said: “I am so proud of everyone who has taken part this year. Each group has brought something different and – although we always try to change some of the content to the members of that particular group – one thing doesn’t change and that’s the commitment and passion of our staff to improve the care of people living with dementia.

"I would like to thank the staff that have attended, and the areas from which they work that have supported them to take time out of their busy work. I would also like to thank the guest speakers that play such an important part (clinical care co-ordinator Kath Tarn, the chaplaincy team, pharmacists Jess Purkiss and Louise Ferguson among others) for their continued support. I always enjoy delivering the course – it is something I am very proud of.”

Manual handler Chris Ferguson said: “After completing the course, it encouraged me to change my approach to teaching staff manual handling training. This then gave staff an insight into why challenging behaviour can escalate during manual handling. Also, ways to change their approach to complete new techniques to reduce patients’ anxiety levels and create a safer outcome for themselves and patient.”

Image: North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Dementia Champions 

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