22nd March 2019
Luton Dementia Action Alliance visited the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) to present them with their dementia friendly certificates. This marks an important milestone for the Trust in being nationally recognised for its hard work towards making the whole hospital a dementia friendly organisation.
The Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) brings organisations together that are committed to transforming health and social care outcomes for people affected by dementia. There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia who live in the UK. This is 1 in 14 people and the number is set to increase every year for the foreseeable future.
The Dementia Nurse Specialist, Yvonne Weldon, at the L&D are educating all staff about the importance of treating people with dementia, and their carers, with dignity and respect. They have the same rights in healthcare as everyone else but staff often have to adapt their approach to caring for the patient. This is especially true when patients are admitted unexpectedly through A&E. Yvonne is working closely with colleagues in the Emergency Department and Outpatient Departments as well as on the wards to ensure patients receive high quality and consistent care throughout the hospital.
Liz Lees, L&D Chief Nurse said “To have the support of the DAA is invaluable to make sure we are doing the best we can for our patients with dementia before they come into hospital, during their stay at the L&D and then when they are discharged home. A more holistic approach to their care has already shown huge benefits to the patients and their carers and reduces the chances of them being readmitted.”
Maria Collins, Chair of LDAA, attended the L&D to meet the staff involved in the initiative and explained how she was a former nurse who had trained at the Trust so is delighted to support the hospital in becoming dementia friendly.
Maria went on to set up her own company because of her mother’s experience of dementia and her vision to delivery better care for patients with dementia in a care home setting. Maria said “While my mother was in hospital, I saw how important it was to improve the knowledge, skills and environment for everyone who had dementia or was caring for someone with dementia. I am so pleased to see that when my clients are admitted to hospital now, significant improvements have been made. It is a privilege to Chair the Luton Dementia Action Alliance and be able to support organisations such as the L&D to become Dementia Friendly.
To families of all our patients, we wanted to give a reminder that sadly, at both Bedford and the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, we are still unable to allow any visitors on site, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example in maternity or children’s departments, or for those patients who are receiving palliative treatment at the end of their lives, on a case-by-case basis.
At Bedford we will call one designated member of family every day between 1.30pm and 4.30pm with a daily phone update. Those who miss a call back during this time and are concerned can contact the helpline on 01234 730500.
For the Luton & Dunstable, we are offering a dedicated Next of Kin helpline for family members who want to check up on their loved ones – please nominate one family member to call 01582 718884 between 8am and 6pm.