Dementia Champions – enhancing the role in Yeovil

ContactDebbie Matthewson, Vocational Learning Facilitator, Yeovil Academy, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
AddressYeovil District Hospital, Higher Kingston, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4AT

What is being done?

A dedicated Training Strategy for the care and protection of vulnerable people has been developed which incorporates the specialist training needs associated with dementia.  Dementia has been incorporated into mandatory training programmes co-ordinated throughout the Yeovil Academy. A programme for Dementia Champions (35) has been implemented across the Trust using a disciplinary approach and a support framework plus ongoing workshops to maintain knowledge and skills.

Work is ongoing to develop dementia befrienders from both within the Trust and through the Alzheimer’s Society and this is being augmented by a Patient Association Project on developing the role of carers across the Trust.

The Dementia Champions also attended the two day Alzheimer Training Workshop on site.

What is new and different?

  • External training from the Alzheimer’s Society on site
  • Champions identified across all disciplines and posts, including ward clerks and hopefully in the future the Trust Handyman.

What difference this seems to be making

  • Higher referrals to the Safeguarding Lead.
  • Implementation of the ‘This is Me’ tool.
  • Ward staff’s knowledge increasing.
  • Highlighting of patients with dementia on the Trust’s Swift Plus system.

Plans for taking the project forward

  • To increase the numbers of Champions in all areas.
  • To explore further training with the Alzheimer’s Society.