National Clinical Director for Dementia visits Doncaster Royal Infirmary

150904 - National Clinical Director for Dementia visits Doncaster Royal InfirmaryYesterday (Thursday, 3rd September) the Mallard Ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary played host to a visit from the National Clinical Director for Dementia, Professor Alistair Burns.

The visit was to see first-hand how dementia care is provided by the specialist ward as part of a Doncaster-wide visit to see the work being delivered by the Doncaster Dementia Strategic Partnership and experience the care received by Doncaster patients with dementia from assessment and treatment to post diagnostic care and support.

The Mallard Ward which opened in 2013 is a purpose-built dementia friendly environment providing holistic care for patients experiencing delirium, provided by a range of professionals including therapists, doctors, general and mental health nurses. The ward does not have any visiting hours and carers, relatives and friends are encouraged to stay on the ward and support patients as part of their care. The ward environment also encourages patients, staff and families to socialise by providing a special dining area where meals are served.

Dr Rod Kersh, consultant physician and lead for the Mallard Ward said: “The environment we provide is substantially different to what you see in a normal hospital ward as it is so important to the care of our patients. It is estimated that up to half of older people in hospital become confused during their stay and for those with a pre-existing diagnosis of dementia this number is many times higher.

“We focus on providing specialist care for those experiencing delirium and medical complications of dementia. We do this by providing person-centred care which has fantastic outcomes, avoiding many of the hazards that older people may encounter in hospital such as falls, pressure ulcers and infections.”

Professor Burns, heard how the dedicated, compassionate staff play a vital role in the care of those living with dementia who experience a deterioration in their physical health, working with patients and families to care for each individual in the most appropriate way. He also spoke to the ward’s Activities Coordinator Gemma Betts, who holds a special position developed to help engage patients and their families in activities including skittles, magnetic darts and singing in order to keep patients active and social whilst in hospital.

Wayne Goddard, Doncaster Integrated Lead for Dementia, said: “It has been a great pleasure to host Alistair’s visit to Doncaster. We were able to not only showcase the excellent work that is already taking place in the borough, but to also gain vital support and insight from the national clinical director for dementia on our journey to achieving a Dementia-friendly Doncaster.”

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