Ten new roles created within Burton Hospitals dementia team

Sharon Hutchings, activities coordinator
Ten new roles created within Burton Hospitals dementia team
28 August 2014

Ten full time posts are being created at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital as it sets up a new care team to work exclusively with patients with dementia.

The Trust that runs the hospital already has a specialist dementia team – but the new staff members will provide additional resources which are needed as the local elderly population increases and more people are diagnosed with the condition.

Head Nurse Julie Thompson explained: “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. This will improve our ability to consistently provide the right care for patients at the right time from the right team.”

It is expected that the new team will be in place and operating by November as part of the existing dementia team. 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.

Over the last 12 months, the Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been praised for the care it provides for dementia sufferers. It successfully met the challenge set by Prime Minister David Cameron to have a Dementia Champion on every adult NHS ward and it was among the first Trusts in the UK to acquire RemPods – pop-up reminiscence rooms – to help patients with dementia relax and stimulate long term memories and conversation.

Nurses have been organising musical memories sessions and other activities for patients with dementia, and Queen’s Hospital has been working in partnership with the town’s Storywells Project to gather memories about Burton’s pubs and its brewing industry.

Now the Trust is also piloting a new role of activities co-ordinator working with people with dementia. Sharon Hutchings (pictured) stepped in to the role and was able to buy games and craft items with funds raised for dementia care by the hospital coffee bar.

She spends time one-to-one with elderly patients on wards 8 and 12, playing card games and dominoes and making cards and other craft activities.

On Ward 44, where there is a space for patients and their visitors to gather, she is organising small group craft sessions. Sharon said: “I am really enjoying my new role, and the patients clearly enjoy the games and crafts activities and we’ve had lots of positive feedback from their relatives and carers.”

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