As the UK’s first hospital-based Admiral Nurse clinical specialist, Jeni Bell has been able to bring the ethos of the specialism to a new environment
As the UK’s first hospital-based Admiral Nurse clinical specialist, Jeni Bell has been able to bring the ethos of the specialism to a new environment. Here, she talks to Clare Lomas about the importance of developing dementia care in hospitals, and of introducing training programmes and upskilling staff to improve care for patients.
Discharge planning for patients with dementia can be difficult enough when arranging local services, so imagine trying to organise a care package for a patient being discharged to the US. This is exactly what leading dementia nurse Jeni Bell did when the daughter of a patient came to one of the cafés she runs to support the carers of patients with dementia at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
The mother and daughter had been on a cruise when the mother became unwell. When the ship docked at Southampton, she was transferred to the local hospital. ‘The daughter was alone in a strange country and had no idea what to do. Her greatest concern was not being able to care for her mum when they got back to the States,’ says Ms Bell.
‘One of the people who supported the café owned a care agency franchise. It was an American company, so she contacted the office in Florida, did the needs assessment at the hospital and set up the care package to start when they got back,’ she adds.
This article was first published in print in Nursing Older People: 27 August 2015, volume 27, issue 7.