SPECIALLY trained members of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service are to help patients with dementia at the Northern General Hospital in a groundbreaking trial scheme.
They will offer additional support to encourage eating, socialising and taking part in activities such as reading and art.
Each older person who needs to spend long periods of time in hospital will have up to three volunteers supporting them so there will be somebody available at all times.
A one-year Government-backed experiment was launched on Monday by Lord Mayor Sylvia Dunkley.
WRVS chief executive David McCullough said: “It’s all about providing additional non-clinical support that is tailored to individuals. Our volunteers will be finding out what each person needs to make their hospital stay more comfortable, and doing our best to provide it – alongside the care of the families and the nursing and medical staff.”
Chris Morley, deputy chief nurse, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know from national research that the patient’s experience and the environment created in hospital is very important and we are hoping this scheme will be a real trailblazer for a new way of caring for patients suffering from dementia.”
The Government’s Department of Health this week announced a dementia awareness campaign and said it wanted to improve dementia care in hospitals.