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Hundreds of staff at Trust are now Dementia Friends

Published 22/09/2015

HUNDREDS of staff members at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have now trained as Dementia Friends, in a bid to provide better care for patients who are living with the condition.

Around 300 workers, including nurses, porters, secretaries and managers have taken part in courses which offer an understanding of what life can be like for someone living with dementia. Their increased level of awareness helps them to not only support people with the condition, but also raises the profile of their needs for other people.

Chief Nurse Cathy Winfield said this work was vital for the Trust, adding: “Our work to encourage more of our staff to become Dementia Friends is so important as it will give these additional staff a better understanding of what life is like for people living with dementia. As we see more and more dementia patients coming into our hospitals and using our services, we all need to be able to provide compassionate care and support for these patients and their families.”

Dementia Friend Sarah Bartley, who is a back care trainer, completed her training recently, after deciding to get involved for personal and professional reasons.

She said: “My nan died two years ago, after displaying a lot of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Seeing my parents struggle with that was a real eye-opener. From a professional perspective, I wanted to help colleagues who were struggling with moving and handling patients with dementia, by improving my own understanding.  

“I hope the scheme will have a positive impact not just on hospital staff, but on a wider level. There is a need for people to be aware that dementia is not just a normal part of getting older.”

Patient Myra Paulson, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease 12 years ago, said she thought the Dementia Friends scheme was positive.

The 74-year-old, who lives in Derby, added: “I think it will be helpful. I think it will be good to have more people around the hospital who understand about Alzheimer’s.”


Dementia Friends
Last Modified 22/09/2015