For Dementia Action Week 2019 we have produced a poster that can be displayed in hospitals that summarises the elements of the Dementia-Friendly Hospital Charter that people living with dementia and carers can see in clear view when they visit. The poster is available for all hospital trusts that are signed up to the Charter and aims to raise awareness of the standards of care that are expected and ultimately to improve the experience of people living with dementia and their carers when they visit hospital.
Throughout the week we’ll be speaking to the people that have been involved in developing the poster. Here we speak to Jo James who is Lead Nurse Dementia, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust:
How do you think the Dementia-Friendly Hospital Charter Poster will help people living with dementia and their carers when visiting hospital?
I think it will be really useful for several reasons. First, it shows the patients and carers that the organisation is committed to delivering the charter, it also shows patients and carers what is expected of the trust and how the trust can do it. I think it is something which will give the patients and carers more confidence when they are in the strange hospital environment as well.
Could you give us an example of a time when either you or a friend or family member have experienced good practice from a health professional in hospital relating to dementia care and support?
My mother in law was in hospital after fracturing her neck of femur and she was also living with dementia. She was admitted to a district general hospital where she received really outstanding care from staff who had embraced the principles of the charter. They made an effort to get to know who she was, manage her emotional needs alongside her physical ones and to provide care in an environment tailored to support people living with dementia.
What do you think is the most positive change that can be made going forward to improve the experiences of people living with dementia and their carers when they visit hospital?
I think the most positive change happens when staff start listening to the person living with dementia and the person who supports them. I believe that when the person’s voice is heard and care is tailored to their needs, the principles of the charter can be delivered effectively.
Further details on the poster and how to access it are available below: