Posted on Friday 2 February 2018
Ellen Lebethe (centre), Chair of Lambeth Pensioners Action Group, with other members of the group
Patients and members of the public enjoyed a “dignitea” at St Thomas’ Hospital, and heard about some of the ways the Trust is working to support patient dignity.
The event was organised by the Patient Experience Team in partnership with Lambeth Pensioners Action Group to mark Dignity Action Day on Thursday 1 February. The day is an annual event for health and social care workers and members of the public to come together to promote the importance of maintaining the dignity of patients, particularly those with dementia.
Patients and members of the public were invited to post messages on leaves put on a “dignity tree” explaining what dignity means to them.
Members of the staff from the Older Persons’ Unit and the patient food services team were also on hand to discuss and demonstrate some of the initiatives in place across the Trust to help dementia patients.
They also shared the latest menus, including a new visual breakfast menu aimed at improving older people’s calorie intake and supporting their recuperation.
Items on display included:
- “traffic light” trays which indicate the level of support patients require at mealtimes,
- cutlery with soft handles for patients with impaired grip,
- “engaged” pegs for cubicle curtains to ensure patients’ privacy is maintained,
- communication boxes containing a range of aides and resources to help patients express their needs
- activity boxes for patients with dementia to stimulate them, help them recall information about their families and friends, and prevent boredom.
Sarah Allen, head of patient involvement at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “As a Trust, we place patients’ dignity and respect at the heart of everything we do. We aim to treat all patients with kindness and understanding, ensure that they know the name of the doctor, nurse or therapist looking after them, and every clinical service has a dementia champion. But there is always room for improvement, which is why holding events like this are a great opportunity to ask patients, visitors and staff what else we can do. Working in partnership with groups like the Lambeth Pensioners Action helps us promote the work of the Trust to the wider community.”