The Nursing Director of Public Health England has visited us to see the innovative work that we are doing to improve care for our older patients.
Professor Viv Bennett visited Chorley and South Ribble Hospital to witness the work of our Older People’s Programme.
Our Older People’s Programme was created in 2013 and was designed to deal with an ageing population and an increase in older patients, many of whom are living with dementia or multiple conditions.
The aim of the programme is to make our hospital environments fit for purpose and to equip our staff with the right knowledge and resources to safely and compassionately care for people with dementia.
Two of our elderly friendly wards have been refurbished, using funding from the Department of Health. The wards are now designed and fully equipped for patients who are suffering from dementia.
Many of our staff have received specialist training in how to care for patients with dementia. A range of activities for our older patients, including afternoon tea parties and sing-alongs have been organised to increase social interaction. Our linen room staff and a group of volunteers also produce activity blankets, which are therapeutic tools made up of things like clips, zips and buckles and different fabrics to engage busy hands and stimulate minds. They provide patients with comfort, security, reassurance and diversion in what is often a bewildering environment.
Professor Viv Bennett, Director of Nursing at Public Health England, said: “It was a privilege to visit Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and to meet the staff and patients. The hospital is doing some innovative work both to improve care for people whilst in hospital and in improving health for local people and communities. The dementia work is a great example of working with communities to raise awareness and help people to live well with dementia.”
Sue Reed, Nursing Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Viv Bennett here today. Elderly care is a real priority for us and we have invested, and continue to invest a lot of effort into our Older Peoples Programme. This visit is a great opportunity for us to showcase all the work that we have been doing to improve care for our elderly patients.”
Professor Viv Bennett also met up with our Hospital Alcohol Liaison Service (HALS) to understand how the challenge of alcohol related admissions are being addressed.