NHS trust launches dementia strategy

Dementia Awareness Week stand at East Surrey Hospital: (L-R) Helen Brown (Home Instead); Michelle Elliott (Good Care Group); Zoe Harris (My Care Matters); Chris O’Connor (SASH); Evie Beri (Alzheimer’s Society)

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) has launched a dementia strategy in a drive to become a dementia friendly organisation.

The aim is to improve the care of people living with dementia, focusing on four areas: patient experience, engagement, environment, and training and development.

The strategy builds on existing initiatives at SASH such as Dementia Friends – an Alzheimer’s Society programme in which 1,850 of the trust’s staff participate. Awareness sessions run as part of that scheme will be included in future staff induction and ongoing training.

The launch took place during national Dementia Awareness Week.

Chris O’Connor, consultant nurse for dementia at SASH, said:

“The focus of the strategy is about becoming a dementia friendly organisation and initiatives such as the Dementia Friends awareness sessions, the more in-depth Dementia Leads programme, John’s Campaign (valuing the role of carers) and the Butterfly Scheme – a system of care in hospitals for people with dementia or memory impairment – form part of it.

Another part of the strategy considers the environment, ensuring that we include design principles that benefit people living dementia, getting it right for dementia gets it right for everybody.”

During Dementia Awareness Week the trust has teamed up with community based organisations to run a stand at East Surrey Hospital.  Staff and visitors have been able to find out more about the strategy and dementia projects, and get advice from the Good Care Group, Home Instead, The Alzheimer’s Society, First Community, Surrey University (TIHM for Dementia Project), Sussex Carers Support, Surrey Action for Carers, My Care Matters and Surrey Library (reminiscence resources).


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