Guy's and St Thomas' wins national award for dementia care


Posted on Thursday 2 May 2013
Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Experience Eileen Sills collects the award

Guy’s and St Thomas’ has been recognised for providing high quality care for patients with dementia.

The Trust won in the Excellence in Dementia Care category at the prestigious CHKS Top Hospital Awards, which were held last night (30 April).

Jason Harries, managing director, CHKS said: “This award recognises excellence in an area of care that is important to everyone.”

Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Experience at the Trust, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be nationally recognised for the care we provide our most vulnerable patients.

“Over the past two years we have implemented a number of initiatives at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to ensure that our older patients and those with dementia are getting the care they need. This is more important than ever as a quarter of patients in UK hospitals have a form of dementia, and the number is growing.”

The initiatives include:

  • Specially designed ward environment complete with colour-coded bays and symbols to help patients remember their way back to their bed if they get up to go for a walk or use the toilet;
  • Blue wristbands so staff can easily identify a patient with dementia;
  • Red meal trays and jugs as a sign to staff that these patients need support with eating and drinking.

Additionally, all staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ – clinical and non-clinical – are expected to have a good understanding of the issues faced by patients with dementia. This awareness has been boosted by the development of the Trust’s ‘Barbara’s Story’ dementia training film.

Almost 10,000 staff from across the Trust have attended training sessions to see the film which follows a fictional patient with dementia during her hospital visit.

Dr Mark Kinirons, Clinical Lead for Dementia and Delirium, said: “’Barbara’s Story ‘has had a transformational impact on the culture of the Trust by emotionally engaging with our staff.

“It has made the job of our Dementia and Delirium (DaD) team much easier because there is much better awareness and so we are pushing at an open door when we talk to staff about caring for people with dementia.”

‘Barbara’s Story’ was also highlighted as an example of best practice in ‘Patients First and Foremost’, the Government’s initial response to the Francis Report, and won the Best Internal Communications category of the 2013 International Visual Communications Awards.

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