Comment

John’s Campaign can make hospitals more dementia friendly

Open visiting for carers of people with dementia in hospital is proving popular.
Nicci_&_John_Gerrard

Open visiting for carers of people with dementia in hospital is proving popular

My trust has joined Johns Campaign , which advocates for the right to stay with people with dementia in hospital.

The campaign was launched by author Nicci Gerrard. Her father, John Gerrard, had Alzheimers disease and his condition deteriorated after he was admitted to hospital.

The trust has already introduced open visiting and carers passports in recognition of carers important role in advocating for and supporting their loved ones.

Even before the introduction of open visiting, staff on many wards would have allowed carers to provide practical and emotional

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Open visiting for carers of people with dementia in hospital is proving popular

Nicci_&_John_Gerrard
Nicci Gerrard, left, helped launch John’s Campaign after her father, John, who had Alzheimer’s disease, deteriorated in hospital 

My trust has joined John’s Campaign, which advocates for the right to stay with people with dementia in hospital.

The campaign was launched by author Nicci Gerrard. Her father, John Gerrard, had Alzheimer’s disease and his condition deteriorated after he was admitted to hospital.  

The trust has already introduced open visiting and carers’ passports in recognition of carers’ important role in advocating for and supporting their loved ones.

Even before the introduction of open visiting, staff on many wards would have allowed carers to provide practical and emotional support to their loved ones outside visiting times. However, many carers thought it was inappropriate to ask for the opportunity and therefore conformed to visiting rules.

Partners in care

John’s Campaign gives carers the right to continue to provide support to people with dementia and to be seen as equal partners in their care.

When patients are admitted, their carers are asked if they would like to continue to be involved in their care. Staff will ensure that any advice families and carers provide is written down in patients’ ‘reach out to me’ documents, so that the multidisciplinary team has a greater understanding of their needs. 

Before open visiting and John’s Campaign were introduced, staff were concerned that the wards would be overrun with visitors and that there would be confidentiality issues. According to staff feedback, however, carers respect their role and allow them to get on with their job, although occasionally carers may ask doctors or nurses questions that could delay ward rounds.

All staff at the trust need more information about the effects of dementia and the importance of carers being able to provide continued support while their loved ones are in hospital.

John’s Campaign is an important initiative to develop a more dementia-friendly hospital.

Find out more
  • Information about John’s Campaign is available here

 


About the author

Chris O’Connor is a nurse consultant for dementia at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

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