As part of our Dementia Friendly Hospitals Charter relaunch the National DAA are catching up with senior dementia specialists from hospitals that are signed up to the charter. Jane Gilby is Admiral Nurse at Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and described the work her and he colleagues are undertaking there.
1.Which hospital do you work in? Could you tell us a bit about it?
Basildon Hospital. Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust primarily provides services for 405,000 people living in south-west Essex covering Basildon and Thurrock, together with parts of Brentwood and Castle Point.
We provide an extensive range of acute healthcare services at Basildon and Orsett Hospitals, plus x-ray and blood testing facilities at the St Andrew’s Centre in Billericay. We also provide dermatology services across the whole of south Essex.
The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) is also part of the Trust, providing a full range of tertiary cardiothoracic services for the whole county and further afield.
With a budget of more than £288million, last year the Trust treated 77,500 inpatients and day patients, provided nearly 300,000 outpatient appointments and attended to 103,000 patients in accident and emergency.
In April 2004, we became one of the first ten NHS foundation trusts in the country, with a Council of Governors comprising local elected members, meaning we could work much more closely with our local community to address and deliver their needs.
Local people, patients and staff can become members of the Trust and have a say in the healthcare services we provide. We have over 13,000 public members and 4,000 staff members.
2. What does your role involve?
In June 2017 The Trust and Dementia UK converted my post to that of an Admiral Nurse, I support patients who have dementia and their families during the in-patient stay who maybe in crisis – also offer support to staff who are caring for a family member who is living with dementia – which can include sign posting to other agencies and support groups
Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need.
I also support staff through advice and training on the ward and also through planned educational sessions and create links with community teams. I am involved in the Trusts Dementia Strategy Group which has been written based on the same acronym as the Hospital Charter – SPACE focusing on Staff, Partnerships, Assessment, Care planning and Environment
3. Has the dementia friendly hospital charter helped you and your staff when providing care to people living with dementia?
Yes as the Trusts Dementia Strategy mirrors the Charter – the focus on staff, partnerships, assessment, care planning and environment- we have an ongoing plan to achieve excellence in dementia care
4. Are there any particular elements of the charter that have been important in your hospital?
We have mandatory Tier 1 training for all staff and have developed a Tier 2 workshop and a simulation training day and hold weekly dementia friends information sessions open to all
The Admiral Nurse role heightens the focus on involving carers in their relatives care and the Trust also supports Johns Campaign with open visiting for carers of patients with dementia. We have made changes to the environments with improved signage and lighting, each of the Older Peoples wards have a quiet room which has been decorated in the theme of Living/kitchen area, tea room and a public house (Male ward – patients chose this option ) – these areas are non-clinical and restful for patients
Produced Dementia Resource Trollies for areas such as Theatres, Cardio Thoracic Centre, Out Patients Department. The Trust has employed an Activity Coordinator who works on the Older Peoples wards – meaningful activities on a 1:1 basis or via group sessions.
5. Why do you think other hospitals would benefit from signing up to the charter?
I think it would be beneficial as it focuses on what is important for patients, carers and Trust Staff in order to deliver high standards of care for all, a guide on how to.
6. What is your favourite thing about working in your hospital?
The support from staff and Trust Board. For example, today I got a phone call from a ward saying that they had made up a dementia resource trolley for their patients. I tweeted that and it made me smile.
Also, a member of the Trust Board was happy to be recorded reading a piece of prose for patients, as part of DAW17. Along with local voices of the community, this is now part of our in-house resources for patients.
You can follow Jane on Twitter on @JaneGilby.