Working hard to gain the expertise to deal with dementia

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

Health Matters by Simon Temple, Lincolnshire Community Health Services’ Head of Clinical Services for South East Lincolnshire

It’s likely that you or someone you know will have been affected by dementia in some way.

Those who haven’t will undoubtedly have heard of dementia and been told of the impact it can have on the lives of those who have it and their carers and families.

In the last month, we’ve been working hard to make sure our staff at Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS) have the knowledge and expertise they need to make a difference to the patients they meet every day.

The Johnson Community Hospital was among the venues chosen to launch the Butterfly Scheme at LCHS. This is being adopted by staff across the organisation, from our hospital wards and community clinics, through to community teams who visit hundreds of patients every day in their own homes.

The scheme supports both those who have been diagnosed with dementia and those with similar care needs, including those whose memory isn’t as reliable as it used to be and for those for who it is a problem, caused by temporary illness.

The Butterfly Scheme provides staff with skills-based education. It is an opt-in scheme, which provides a discreet symbol to easily identify patients with memory impairment who would like additional help and support. The symbol of offering represents a care approach based on a simple five point response, which ensures consistency of approach and enhances care.

This scheme will support the training all of LCHS’s frontline staff have already completed.

On the Welland Ward, we also have one of our Dementia Champions rolling out a train the trainer programme run by Sterling University. As a result, we have already seen a difference in the team’s approach to understanding the needs of those patients with a dementia diagnosis and identifying those in the early stages of this disease.

How can you help? LCHS is supporting the national Dementia Friends campaign, which encourages everyone to understand a bit more about dementia and gives ideas of what you can do to help.

If you’d like to know how you can do your bit to help those with dementia in our communities, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk