Using the ‘Getting To Know You’ leaflet in Plymouth

ContactSarah Carlson, Matron Healthcare of Elderly, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
AddressDerriford Rd, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon, PL6 8DH

What is being done?

Using the principles of the Alzheimer’s Society leaflet ‘This Is Me’, the ‘Getting To Know You’ leaflet was developed on the Healthcare of Elderly wards, for use by relatives of patients too confused to give us details about themselves.

The ‘Getting To Know You’ leaflet includes information about the patient’s family, home life, employment, likes & dislikes. The information is used either to help orientate patients who are confused or to have a more meaningful conversation about themselves; for patients who get upset or anxious the information helps the nursing staff reassure them with appropriate and relevant topics of conversation.

With the introduction of Memory Boxes across ward areas, the ‘Getting To Know You’ leaflets have now been rolled out across all adult ward areas for completion for any patient, but particularly those with acute confusion or those living with dementia.

What is new and different?

The ‘Getting To Know You’ leaflet often uses the information contained within a ‘This Is Me’, however it is particularly pertinent to the patient’s hospital stay. It has also enabled nursing staff or volunteers to sit with patients and find out more about the individual than the usual assessments would glean.

What difference this seems to be making

Dementia Champions are reporting a good use of the ‘Getting To Know You’ leaflet, particularly in the medical admissions units, where patients are often distressed and disorientated. The leaflet enables staff to get to know the individual aspects of care which are important to patients.

Plans for taking the project forward

Continuing to roll-out to ensure that this is embedded in all adult areas, following the success of the Healthcare of Elderly Wards project.