North Tees and Hartlepool health trust improves care for patients with dementia

Community dementia nurse Janette McGuire, dementia specialist nurse Stephen Nicholson and occupational therapist Nicola Murphy with the latest group of dementia champions to complete the training.
Community dementia nurse Janette McGuire, dementia specialist nurse Stephen Nicholson and occupational therapist Nicola Murphy with the latest group of dementia champions to complete the training.

Health staff are going above and beyond in helping improve care for patients with dementia

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust now has specialist champions in place.

The trust has trained at least one representative in every ward area, with some wards having multiple dementia champions.

Over the last three years, 170 staff have been trained in advanced dementia awareness – including doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, specialist nurses, ward clerks and porters.

The training is run by dementia specialist nurse Stephen Nicholson, community dementia nurse Janette McGuire and occupational therapist Nicola Murphy.

The two-day course, endorsed by Health Education England, included training around communication, understanding, and supporting patients who are living with dementia.

Stephen said: “What we have achieved over the last three years has been nothing short of fantastic.

“At that time we had no staff who were trained to this higher level – now we have at least one champion in every clinical area in the acute trust, and there are many community staff from Stockton and Hartlepool that have taken this knowledge to Out of Hospital Care.

“Staff have embraced the training and have recognised its importance, resulting in a lengthy waiting list for future sessions.

“Sadly, the numbers of patients with dementia is increasing. We need to do more to understand this very complex condition so that we are providing the very best care to our patients, and support for their families.”

“Thank you to all staff involved – you really are champions!”