Posted on 5th February, 2013
Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw recently attended a Dementia Care in Practice training session, run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust, to increase his awareness and understanding of the illness.
The monthly training course is run for staff from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E). It helps them to learn more about dementia and what they can do to support patients, carers and families who are affected by the illness.
Senior Mental Health Practitioner Vicky Shorters, who is part of the liaison team that provides older people’s mental health expertise to the RD&E, says: “Ben was extremely interested in the subject and participated actively. We are all aware of the increasing numbers of people with dementia in our communities, and the growing number of people with dementia who are admitted to hospital – usually for a reason other than their mental illness.
“Our course is designed for anyone who has hands-on contact with people. We talk about signs and symptoms, the importance of treating people with respect and how it would feel to be a patient in a general hospital with dementia. We also share practical advice that helps staff to provide sensitive care and support for people with dementia and their loved ones.”
Consultant Nurse for Older People at the RD&E, Debbie Cheeseman, added: “The collaboration between our teams has been important for us in helping to get the care right for patients with dementia in the hospital. Staff are so enthusiastic and well informed after this course that many have asked to become dementia champions. It provides practical, hands-on training and has proved so valuable that we now stipulate that all dementia champions must complete it, as well as all nursing staff who work on older people’s wards.”
Ben Bradshaw said: “I was very impressed by the training session and the professionals who led it. Even though my mother had dementia I learned a lot from the session, including some simple but important dos and don’ts and ways of improving the quality of care for people. Given that dignity and respect are high on the agenda in elderly care, I would have thought training like this is indispensable for a modern health care professional.” For further information contact Peter Leggatt on 01392 208693.