All nursing staff, from Healthcare Assistants to Deputy Director of Nursing understand the importance of taking the time to chat to their patients during afternoon tea rounds, to get to know patients on a personal level and not just a clinical one.
National Dignity Action Day aims to ensure people in care are treated as individuals and encourages health workers to give the gift of time and raise awareness of the importance of dignity in care.
Deputy Director of Nursing, Mark Radford said: “This is a very important day, as it raises awareness to all staff about the importance of dignity in care.
“Taking the time to speak with patients to get to know the small things, like their preferred name they like to be called or what type of things makes them happy helps ensure patients have a more positive patient experience and can help with care plans.”
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Rose O’Malley said: “All staff from porters to nurses to consultants at the Trust treat all patients with dignity and respect.
“The Trust introduced ‘Getting to Know Me’ forms five years ago, which include questions that are more personal to help nursing staff understand each individual patient better.”
Treating patients with dignity everyday is important and on Dignity Action Day staff members who have gone the extra mile to ensure all patients are treated with dignity and respect were awarded certificates for their efforts. Ward Hostess, Moninder Bertagga; Staff Nurse Agnes Walsh; and Aiden O’Brien, Porter were chosen for this special award.
Ward Hostess Moninder was chosen for this award as she always ensures the patients on her ward have the choice of their preferred drink and plenty of it to keep them hydrated. Staff Nurse, Agnes was recognised for her efforts for always going out of her way not just for her patients but also for their relatives and for sacrificing her own time to make sure her patients have everything they require. Aiden O’Brien who is a porter understands what is like to have a love one who suffers from dementia and so takes the time to talk to patients and offers kind words to make patients feel calm and reassured.
A tea party was also held for patients who have dementia and their carers in the Forget Me Not Lounge which has recently been opened on Ward 40 at University Hospital. This lounge is a quiet and relaxing place and is a dedicated facility to enhance and improve the environment and experience for those with dementia, their carers and visitors during their time at hospital.
The opening of the lounge is part of a Trust-wide Forget Me Not campaign to highlight the importance of dementia care to ensure all dementia patients are communicated and cared for in the right environment to all staff groups. It is important for staff to understand patients with dementia and confusion so that they are treated as an individual and not just a patient. Training programmes and support are in place to ensure these vulnerable patients are understood more and are cared for appropriately and with dignity and respect by all staff they come into contact with.
Age Concern representatives were available throughout the day, at the main entrance of University Hospital to answer both staff and public questions regarding dignity in care.
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Picture caption: Staff Nurse, Hannah Harrison with patient Margaret Tarbert enjoying a nice cup of tea