If anyone’s not convinced that hospital dementia care can be superb, let them read on! I’ve had the enormous pleasure this month of returning to Blackpool to give a series of learning sessions to a team, covering both Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital, which positively rejoices in the quality of dementia care it provides.
Divisional Lead Anne Lloyd and her team had paved the way for a series of sessions which were very well-attended, ran smoothly and even included a Grand Round, enabling large numbers of medics to learn the scheme’s approach to dementia care; it’s often a challenge to achieve good attendance by medics, so this was a huge bonus.
We were also able to fit in a visit to a wonderful care of the older person ward, where I and volunteer co-speaker Janet, seen here with patients, were lucky enough to witness early use of a Magic Table – an interactive facility which will enable groups of patients to socialise, have fun and even achieve some upper body exercise, and which has been bought for the Trust by the superb Trust charity, the Blue Skies Fund.
From there, we moved on to Clifton Hospital, which offers a shining example of the greatest passion for dementia care you could hope to find. Sister Francesca Hall has for a decade been the most wonderful ambassador the Scheme could hope to have and her passion and dedicated commitment, helping so many colleagues learn to deliver superb dementia care, have worked wonders. The hospital corridors and wards looked like a Butterfly carnival – and there was even a wonderful celebratory Butterfly Scheme cake – but what’s crucial is that the sheer joy of what they do doesn’t end with displays, but is instead completely visible in the fabulous care they so clearly provide.
The quality of hospital dementia care provision can, of course, be very variable from place to place, and even within one hospital, but whilst we must aspire to achieve excellence everywhere, such an inspiring example of sheer joy in caring for people with dementia serves to remind us all how far it’s already possible to have come.