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Booklet helps improve hospital experience for dementia patients

Specialist nurses devised 'snapshot' of patients' needs and preferences for use on wards 

Specialist nurses and consultants at a west Midlands hospital have helped develop a booklet that records the needs and preferences of dementia patients who are admitted to hospital.

Heather James and Rachel Martin

The About Me booklet, devised by staff at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, is completed and kept by a carer and provides a 'snapshot' of the patient.

It lets any staff member who comes into contact with them quickly access details about their dementia diagnosis, background, and information such as their likes and dislikes, daily care needs, food and drink preferences and how they like to communicate.

A magnet showing a forget-me-not flower, the national symbol for dementia, is also placed on the patient’s name board to show staff that they have memory problems.

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, is planning to use the booklet across other trust sites. 

Rachel Martin, a dementia specialist nurse at the trust, said: ‘People with dementia can become agitated when they are in an unfamiliar environment. 

‘The booklet helps our staff to communicate appropriately with patients to reduce any feelings of agitation or distress. It also helps family members, reassuring them that their relative is being cared for in the best way possible.’

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