Cambridge University Hospitals has today launched an ambitious plan to mark the start of national Dementia Action Week (Monday 21 May – Sunday 27 May).
CUH champions dementia support plan
The Trust has pledged to have at least one ‘dementia champion’ on every adult ward, rather than limit them to those that cater for the elderly.
Dozens of nurses, healthcare support workers and others have been trained in best practice and will cascade that knowledge down to colleagues with the ultimate aim of extending it to everyone in the trust, including outpatient staff, pharmacy workers, security and volunteers.
Dementia champions help identify those who need referral to specialist nursing services and signpost patients and their families to support groups, community services, information and other resources which can help.
As well as the slogan ‘Forget me not’ signs and blue wristbands which identify patients with dementia, the trust is rolling our ‘What’s Important to me’ posters which are placed behind patients’ beds and prompt staff and visitors to ask questions about subjects that are deep-rotted in a sufferer’s memory, aiding conversation.
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commission Group region has 11,339 estimated cases - giving it one of the highest rates in the country
Dementia specialist nurse Jacqueline Young said at any one time 250 patients with dementia can be in CUH. She said: “It is our aim to make our Trust as dementia friendly as possible and this is an important step forward.
“For a long time we have had dementia champions on our Department of Medicine for the Elderly (DME) wards, but it is not just people over 75 that develop dementia.
“The increased number of champions will make sure that patients with dementia who are not on our DME wards receive the same level of specialised care and are referred to the specialist nursing team.
“We are very pleased to see other areas outside the wards becoming dementia champions as well.”
Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.