The main hospital trust for Brighton and Hove has been recognised for being among Britain’s most dementia friendly.
With help from the Friends of Brighton and Hove Hospitals – and some nostalgic music – patients have been helped with their memories in the specialist Emerald Unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Staff all round the hospital have also been given dementia awareness training as the condition afflicts a growing number of patients.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Matthew Kershaw told a board meeting on Wednesday (4 November): “The trust has been chosen as one of the finalists at the forthcoming National Dementia Care Awards.
“There were five finalists shortlisted from over a hundred entered. Winners will be announced at the National Dementia Care Awards 2015 Gala Night which will take place on (Friday) 13 November.”
Mr Kershaw said in a letter to staff: “The trust was named in the top five hospitals in the country for our ‘dementia friendly’ approach and services.
“This is a reflection of the tremendous efforts of the staff in our dementia team and on our two dedicated dementia care wards.
“It is also about the way all our staff make it their business to ensure coming into hospital does not need to be a confusing and anxious time.
“The dementia team provides direct support to patients with dementia wherever they are in the hospital.”
Mr Kershaw said that the team was now in its third year of running the education programme that gives other staff confidence to help make our hospitals places that feel safe for people with dementia and their carers.
He said: “The Emerald Unit, one of our two dedicated dementia wards, has been able to introduce an innovative programme of music for patients thanks to the support from the Friends of Brighton and Hove Hospitals.
“Feedback from trial sessions has been very positive with patients engaged in discussions about the music, reminiscing and sharing memories.
“The Friends are enhancing the experience of our patients through over £35,000 for items including physiotherapy training equipment, calendar clocks for wards so that patients can see the day as well as the time, new furniture for the HIV inpatient day room and portable amplifiers for patients with hearing difficulties in the Sussex Kidney Unit.
“Thanks to the Friends there will be five new self-propelling wheelchairs for amputee patients in our regional vascular centre, boosting patient progress, confidence and independence as they go through rehabilitation.”