Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) has launched its dementia strategy in a major drive to become a dementia friendly organisation.
The strategy is aimed at improving the care of people living with dementia and will focus on four key areas: patient experience; engagement; environment; training and development.
It builds on key initiatives at SASH including Dementia Friends – a programme set up by the Alzheimer’s Society to enable staff to learn more about dementia. SASH currently has 1850 staff members who are Dementia Friends and the new strategy will see the awareness sessions become part of staff induction and on-going mandatory training.
Leading the strategy is Chris O’Connor, consultant nurse for dementia at SASH, who said: “The focus of the strategy is about becoming a dementia friendly organisation and initiatives such as the Dementia Friends awareness sessions, the more in-depth Dementia Leads programme, John’s Campaign (valuing the role of carers) and the Butterfly Scheme – a system of care in hospitals for people with dementia or memory impairment – forms part of it.
“Another part of the strategy considers the environment, ensuring that we include design principles that benefit people living dementia, getting it right for dementia gets it right for everybody. Dementia affects people differently and good care practices are about getting the balance right: maintaining independence as much as possible to providing more support when required.”
During Dementia Awareness Week 15-21 May SASH has teamed up with a number of community based organisations to run a stand at East Surrey Hospital (East entrance) where staff and visitors have been finding out more about the Trust’s dementia strategy and dementia specific projects. Visiting organisations included: the Good Care Group, Home Instead, The Alzheimer’s Society, First Community, Surrey University (TIHM for Dementia Project), Sussex Carers Support, Surrey Action for Carers, My Care Matters and Surrey Library (reminiscence resources).