Staff training at Salisbury District Hospital

ContactSandy Woodbridge, Learning Facilitator, Dementia Education Salisbury Foundation Trust
AddressSalisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ

Staff training at Salisbury District HospitalWhat is being done?

Salisbury District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver Basic Awareness Workshops in Dementia to staff at the hospital.

Aims of the course:

  • To give a basic understanding of what dementia is.
  • To relate to the physical damage caused by dementia to everyday life.
  • To give an insight into the impact dementia may have on any individual, their family and carer.
  • Person centred care approach.
  • Factors that influence communication.

There are six annual sessions open to all staff, from every discipline.

Pre and post questionnaires used as an indicator for improvement. This data is captured and then evidenced through Pre/Post course validation graph, which shows at a glance levels and areas of improvement and areas for review.

What is new and different?

Mixed media approach; power point, short films and music. Participatory approach with varied experiential exercises. We are concentrating on building confidence in practice, understanding communication and strategies, exploring facts and feelings.

What difference does this seem to be making?

  • Staff felt that they were better able to communicate with people with dementia and their cares because of their improved knowledge, understanding and skills supported by experiential techniques.
  • Improved recognition and meeting the physical and emotional needs of people with dementia and their carers
  • The use of “This is Me” has significantly increased in some areas. Staff active engagement with the dementia charter mark ward standards.
  • Staff have acknowledged that by using the person centred approach with patients with dementia, they found their patients easier to care for.

How do we do this?

  • Experiential exercises exploring sequencing, communication, visoperceptual challenges. spatial awareness and senses; make a cup of tea, penny test, star & mirror, sour sweet, desert island discs, role play
  • Brain tour, short 1.30 minute films of the brain each explaining the type of dementia
  • The difference between Delirium and Dementia
  • 10 minute film Can you see me nurse with Julie Christie – illustrating poor communication, dignity and respect for an older adult
  • 15 minute film Darkness in the Afternoon a story to explore
  • The bookcase metaphor simplifying the degeneration of the factual memory and more reliance on the emotional memory and focusing on feelings are more important than facts
  • Slides requiring audience participation to examining what is seen and is it a perceptually correct
  • Body language and non verbal communication
  • Inclusion – examining Tom Kitson’s flower

Staff feedback

“I feel I have confidence in areas, where in the past I would have shied away”

Nursing Assistant.

“The making a cup of tea exercise really brought it home to me how much we take for granted”

Senior Palliative Care Nurse.

“I’m using validation of feelings technique and have been sharing what I have learnt with people outside of work who live in my village and are affected by dementia”

Outpatient Administrator