Patient and visitor

Dementia patients benefiting from digital platform in West Midlands

Clinicians at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust are trying to help dementia patients by harnessing the power of digital, as the trust’s pilot project enters its next phase.

The online platform – Life Stories Herefordshire and Worcestershire – is designed to help capture people’s life stories digitally in a bid to unlock the care and treatment benefits associated with improved clinician-patient relationships.

Evidence has shown that fostering better connections between patients and staff by developing life stories can promote wellbeing and inclusion. This is especially effective with older patients and those living with dementia.

The platform is currently being trialled on Meadow Ward, which delivers specialist inpatient care to dementia patients across Worcestershire, as a wellbeing and communication tool.

Dr Julie Achiampong, Clinical Psychologist for Meadow Ward said: “The life story platform can support conversations about memories the person can still recall and share with others and therefore supports the person’s wellbeing.”

The platform, which is open to everyone in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire region, allows users to curate a free online story book, comprising YouTube clips, songs, TV programmes, or even voice recordings from family and friends.

Life Stories Herefordshire and Worcestershire was originally launched last year in partnership with Worcester City Council –  but now, in collaboration with Worcester University’s Association of Dementia Studies, the trust is inviting people to share their experiences of using the platform to inform any future developments and design routes.

Dr Natasha Lord, Lead Clinical Psychologist for Older People’s Mental Health Services, said: “Obtaining feedback is essential for ensuring that the platform meets the needs of the people using it and allows us to make any required changes. It also provides evidence for its utility, which can lead to wider application of the platform.”

Those interested in giving feedback can do so by completing an online survey by the 10th of February 2023.

More information on the digital platform is available here.

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NHE May/June 2024

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