Nurse Awards

Initiatives protect bond between inpatients with dementia and carers

The first acute hospital Admiral Nurse service in the north of England has introduced a raft of measures improves the experience of inpatients’ carers.

Pamela Kehoe.  Picture credit: Neil O'ConnorPamela Kehoe. Picture credit: Neil O'Connor

The initiatives, implemented at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust by Pamela Kehoe include psychological support to help carers understand thoughts, feelings and behaviours and to adapt to the changing situation and cope with feelings of loss and bereavement as a condition progresses.

Pamela is there for carers at particularly difficult points, including diagnosis, condition progression, or when difficult decisions need to be made, such as moving a loved one into residential care.

There is a ‘dementia café’ to help maintain social contact and carers can visit at any time to continue their role in the inpatient’s life. There are activities designed for patients and their carers to share.

The initiative is regularly monitored through a carers’ survey, which shows improvement in the perception of care for patients and relatives.

Pamela Kehoe.  Picture credit: Neil O'ConnorPamela Kehoe. Picture credit: Neil O'Connor

Pamela is a finalist in the Supporting Carers category of the 2016 RCNi Nurse Awards. The award, sponsored by NHS England, is for nurses who have developed initiatives that have had a positive effect on carers’ own physical and mental health, as well as improving the outcomes for the person being cared for.

Pamela says: ‘It is an honour and I feel quite proud to be shortlisted for this year’s Nurse Awards. The work we do is important in being able to assist in helping to connect people and maintaining those connections when they are not in own environment.

‘We act as links and build bridges between patients and their families. Being able to support people with dementia and their loved ones in a meaningful and proactive way is very rewarding.’

About the sponsor

NHS England

NHS EnglandNHS England’s mission is to ensure health and high quality care for all, now and future generations. NHS England creates the culture and conditions for health and care services and staff to deliver the highest standard of care and ensure that valuable public resources are used effectively to get the best outcomes for individuals, communities and society for now and for future generations.