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Dementia champs earn their badges

08 November 2013

Health Care

As the population ages, the number of patients with dementia coming into hospital is set to rise. To ensure staff in all areas are well-equipped to meet the needs of this special group of patients, Southend University Hospital has launched a training course to develop dementia champions.

The first contingent have just successfully 'passed out' after completing their training and received their badges and certificates. The awards ceremony was a red-letter day for dementia clinical nurse specialist (CNS) Christine Timms who has long dreamed of having champions to take a special interest in the growing number of patients with dementia.

Christine said: "They come in with a wide range of conditions so could be in any ward in the hospital. That's why we feel it is so vital that staff from all different areas are aware of the special difficulties this group of patients may have."

To become a champion, staff  must attend a two-hour dementia core training session as well as a conflict resolution course.

Their role is to provide education and information for patients and carers, ensure other staff in their department are aware of the particulart needs of dementia patients and to liaise with the hospital's memory service as well as local support services.

Christine added: "The hospital can be unfamiliar, noisy and bustling for any patient. But for those with dementia, this can all add to their confusion and feeling of disorientation. We are so pleased to have recruited and trained these enthusiastic champions who will be able to make a real difference for this vulnerable group of patients and their families."


With pic: Southend University Hospital's first dementia champions