Back in 2010, the Butterfly Scheme was just starting to go into hospitals and Calderdale and Huddersfield Trust was a very early applicant, adopting the scheme early in 2011. That, of course, indicated that its Dementia Lead was thinking far ahead of most others at the time and was already convinced that person-centred dementia care, achieved through adopting a whole-team dementia care approach, was the way forward.
I remember that launch day so well – and I remember the comments of the Lead afterwards, as she struggled to make her way down corridors because so many individual staff team members, from the whole range of roles, would stop her to enthuse or to demonstrate their new-found skills! This was a new phenomenon – the concept of dementia care being something hospital teams could really take pleasure and pride in and thoroughly enjoy delivering.
I’ve been back to the Trust since then to deliver further sessions, but what an absolute pleasure to return this month to give each of the hospitals an additional day of teaching! The original Lead is still in place – and isn’t it interesting that so often that stability of leadership enables really well-delivered dementia care? So – how was the reception this time around? Well, if anything, it was even warmer; people already had faith in the scheme and wanted to deepen their understanding. In every one of the eight sessions, people contributed, interacted and worked really hard, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me and for my co-speaker, Janet, a fully-trained and experienced volunteer former carer.
Congratulations to the dementia care leadership team on the dedicated work that resulted in two excellent days of learning.