New hospital suite to provide peaceful setting for people with dementia to spend their final days
A new care suite which will provide a peaceful setting for people with dementia to spend their final days, has opened at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
The facility at the hospital’s Heddfan Older Persons Mental Health Unit will ensure that people with dementia can receive end of life care in a dignified setting away from the main hospital environment if this is their wish and that of their family.
The refurbished suite, which will support patients on Gwanwyn Ward, has dedicated facilities to enable families to stay close to their loved one and follows Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s commitment to John’s Campaign, which advocates for carers’ right to stay.
It forms part of the health board’s efforts to improve the quality of its Older Person’s Mental Health services and act on the recommendations of external reports by the Health and Social Care Advisory Service and health investigator Donna Ockenden.
This has seen BCUHB significantly increase spending on these services, while improving staff training, care practices, and its approach to involving family members and carers.
The suite, which has recently opened, at the Heddfan Unit has ensured that all three of BCUHB’s dementia specific wards now have dedicated facilities to provide suitable end-of-life care.
A new end of life care framework has also been introduced for patients on dementia wards as well as new staff training. There is also a new joint assessment to be undertaken by families and clinicians to ensure that all the persons needs can be met on the ward.
Mental health staff have also worked closely with the health board’s palliative care nurses and experts from Macmillan to ensure that patients benefit from high-quality end of life care.
Alison Foster, Macmillan head of nursing for Specialist Palliative Care Services has jointly led on the project and says that she is delighted that the new facility is now available for people with dementia and their families.
She said: “For too long there have been unacceptable inequalities nationally, regarding access to palliative and end of life care that has meant that people with dementia and their families have sadly missed out or received care too late.
“This project will help to widen access to compassionate and dignified end of life care and this development would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of all the service users and staff involved.”
Steve Forsyth, BCUHB’s Director of Mental Health Nursing, said the project had been inspired by the health board’s TODAYICAN quality improvement methodology, which recognises patient time as the most important currency in healthcare.
He said: “Underpinning our efforts to improve our services is a recognition that patient time is the most precious and important currency in healthcare. We recognise how important it is maximise every second of time that our patients spend with us, and never is that more important than when providing end of life care.
“We’re very pleased to open this new facility, which will play an important role in ensuring that patients and their families receive the very best care and support at a time when they need it the most.”
Sean Page, Consultant Dementia Nurse at BCUHB, added: “People with dementia have as much right as any other person to a dignified death with an assurance of compassionate and high quality care.
“As a health board we recognise the need for preferences and decisions about end of life care to be identified as early as possible and we advocate for people to be able to have these conversations when they feel the time is right. As such we are supporting our staff to have the knowledge and skills that are needed.
“The family has a right to be with that person whilst also having their own needs met and ultimately we only have one chance to get end of life care right.
“We have listened and learned how to do that and working together with families and specialist services we believe this is an example of the ‘TODAYWECAN’ approach that the Mental Health Division has been introducing.”Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com
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