MORE staff are being trained in Huddersfield to deal with patients who suffer with dementia.
And it includes auxiliary staff as well as nurses.
As the number of diagnoses increases, Barbara Schofield, nurse consultant for older people at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, revealed more about the state of dementia services.
She said: “We are training everybody who has anything to do with patients who suffer from dementia.
“Porters, doctors, nurses, consultants will all be trained through the Butterfly Scheme’s REACH programme.
“The national audit showed that with dementia, understanding the person, their habits and what makes them happy are key.
“So we will also be introducing a bigger, competent network of champions including dignity and safeguarding champions in the spring.
“We hope to have one or two champions on the wards across all clinical areas.
“They will receive support from learning disability champions and the general hospital matrons.”
Another matron is also due to be appointed shortly.
With six out of 10 cases going undetected, Barbara said that the initial hospital assessment is essential and it is important to recognise the difference between delirium and dementia.
If a patient is believed to have dementia, she claimed a hospital is often the worst place for them to be as it is an “unfamiliar surrounding”.
Delirium is an acutely disturbed state of mind that most commonly occurs because of fever, infection, and other disorders.
The Calderdale and Huddersfield Trust is currently working with Leeds University on the prevention and intervention of delirium.
She continued: “In 2009, there was a report called Counting the Cost – which was a review of hospital care for people with dementia.
“It outlined how hospitals weren’t quite getting it right for this group of people.
“Counting the Cost made dementia a priority for 2010, 2011 and now it is a huge priority for 2012.
“It used to be the case that 80% of patients were independent and only 20% dependent, it has almost reversed completely and now 80% are dependent on help.”
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary was one of the first hospitals to adopt the Butterfly scheme, an initiative which aims to improve the treatment of patients suffering with dementia.
If patients suffering with memory impairment wish staff to be aware they can use a discreet butterfly symbol on their chart.
All staff who interact with patients are trained using REACH – a five point programme which stands for Remind, Explain, Arrange, Check and History.
As part of the butterfly scheme, an easy-to-use carer sheet is also available.
Across the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax and the HRI, there are usually in excess of 100 patients suffering from dementia or memory impairment.
Barbara Schofield will be giving a talk about her role as nurse consultant to Foundation Trust members at 6pm on February 1, at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and also at 6pm on February 6 at Calderdale Royal.
If you would like to attend and are interested in becoming a member of the Foundation Trust please contact the membership office on 01484 347342 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is by ticket only, and spaces are limited.
This article was clarified on January 11 2012.