It always gives me great happiness when a member of staff at one Butterfly Scheme hospital moves into another organisation and pushes for the Scheme to be adopted there, too. We all know dementia care approaches are intended to support patients – and we very much hope they all include aiming to support carers – but when staff confirm to me how much the Scheme also helps the staff team, that’s hugely heartwarming; if staff actively enjoy caring for people with dementia, that warmth and enthusiasm is going to have such a positive effect.

The Butterfly Scheme teaches healthcare teams very few hard facts. Instead, it teaches them insight into what the person with dementia is experiencing in hospital that’s different from other patients’ experience. Bit by bit, the staff start to see the world through the eyes of a person with dementia and many of the responses to that knowledge start to occur to them even before they’re guided towards them. Once you understand, you can’t go back to not understanding, so the approach you’ve previously taken won’t ever be one you want to take again – and you not only want to know how to care more appropriately, but also want the whole team around you to take that same approach, in order to best support your patient.

At the moment, two consecutive Butterfly Scheme launches are only taking place because staff from other member hospitals have moved and felt strongly enough about the Butterfly Scheme to press for it to be adopted at their new organisations. In one case, it’s travelling internationally and would have been very unlikely to have been adopted in its new location without that insider experience.

To me, this underlines what I’ve always known – that the passion and commitment of healthcare teams stretches far beyond most people’s realisation. I can only thank these fabulous ambassadors for the Butterfly Scheme for finding the energy to share their passion with their new employers – and I also thank those new employers for really listening.