Hospital staff help dementia patients

Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust dementia leader Anita Ruckledge is promoting dementia awareness week. (D511B420)
Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust dementia leader Anita Ruckledge is promoting dementia awareness week. (D511B420)

A chorus of voices helped raise awareness of dementia at the district’s hospitals.

Staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust ran a series of events to mark Dementia Awareness Week at Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals.

Dementia lead nurse Anita Ruckledge and her team invited people to join them in singing A Little Help From My Friends.

The song is being used in a TV campaign by the Alzheimer’s Society and Public Health England to recruit dementia friends who help people with the condition.

People were also invited to write down suggestions for dementia care and notes about loved ones with the condition which were attached to memory trees during the week.

Mrs Ruckledge said: “We are dedicated to treating the patient as a person first, the condition second.

“We often say to families, ‘nobody knows mum or dad better than you’. We want to create a safe place for patients that lives up to expectations.”

Mid Yorkshire has also launched its Forget Me Not campaign to provide better services for hospital patients with dementia.

The campaign sees blue flower symbols placed above dementia patients’ beds make sure their condition is recognised by staff.

Staff are also given information about their likes and dislikes, daily routine, diet and what might distress them.

As part of the campaign the trust is recruiting Forget Me Not volunteers, who undergo full training to help dementia patients.

Volunteer Callum Forbes, 19, said: “In my role I support patients and nurses. For example, if a nurse needs to take a blood sample from a patient, this may be a bit worrying for the patient but I can help to reassure them and help them feel better about it.

“Being in hospital can be quite frightening for some but I can help to make their stay more comfortable and this makes a big difference to them and to me.

“I feel a real sense of achievement because I know I am helping people.”