Epsom and St Helier hospitals have pledged their support for John’s Campaign, which recognises the important role carers have in the lives of people living with dementia.
The campaign, founded in November 2014 by Nicci Gerrard, recognises and champions the right of carers to stay with and continue supporting their loved one during their time in hospital. Chief Nurse Charlotte Hall explained: “We recognise and value the role that carers have and, as a trust, we pledge to support them to remain with their loved ones in hospital and stay at any time, for as long as is needed.
“We know that hospitals can be a frightening place for our patients living with dementia, so it is incredibly important that we do everything we can to make them feel as comfortable as possible and deliver high quality, personalised care. A big part of this is making sure that we include their carers – as part of our pledge to John’s Campaign, we are committed to ensuring that they feel welcome and involved in their loved one’s care.
“Making sure that we work in partnership with and support carers not only benefits our patients, but the carers and our staff as well.”
The trust has introduced a number of different initiatives to support patients living with dementia, many of which were developed to include loved ones and carers. Debi Miller, Lead Nurse for the Older Persons Pathway at St Helier Hospital, said: “As part of our Carers Guidelines, we have introduced special passports and badges for carers so that they can be easily identified – this will help us make sure that we are working with and supporting them in the best way possible.
“We have introduced a number of different activities for our patients living with dementia, such as music concerts, afternoon tea and a reminiscence area, all of which we encourage carers to be part of. We are also looking at developing space on Ward C2 at St Helier, which has a dementia focus, into ‘carer bedrooms’ – a space support careers stay overnight to help with their loved ones, as we know night can be a particularly challenging time for those living with dementia.
“At the moment this work is focused in specific areas, but with support from staff and volunteers, we are making great developments across our hospitals. We are really proud of what we have in place, and will continue to work with our patients and carers to ensure that we are delivering the best care possible.”
Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust's pledge to support John's Campaign:
"We pledge to support carers to remain with their loved ones and stay at any time, for as long as needed. We have a Carers Guideline, passports and badges so that carers are easily identified and to ensure we work with and support them in the best way possible."
To find out more about John’s Campaign, please visit www.johnscampaign.org.uk. You can read the pledges made by other healthcare providers and follow the impact of the campaign by visiting www.theguardian.com/society/series/johns-campaign.