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26 January 2012

£175,000 to help improve services for patients with dementia

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) has been awarded a grant of £175,000 from the charity WRVS to improve services for patients with dementia at its hospitals. 

The generous donation will allow the Trust to invest in improved training programmes for staff, the setting up of a volunteer network of dementia champions across the Trust and improvements in the environment such as clocks and calendars in every bay. 

Alison Moon, the Trust's chief nurse and regional dementia champion for acute hospitals for the South West, said:  "We are delighted to have received this generous funding from WRVS. It will allow us to significantly improve our services for patients with dementia as well as their carers and families. 

"We have been working closely with North Bristol NHS Trust to develop a role profile for dementia champions as well as an acute hospitals Bristol wide training plan for staff. This will mean that people with dementia should receive the same standard of care and approach to training across all Bristol hospitals." 

The funding will enable the Trust to recruit a nurse to lead the work with volunteers and support patients on the ward and in other appropriate settings. This will include befriending, help with feeding and reminiscence work. Another nurse will also be recruited to support the training of staff at the Trust. 

Helen Morgan, the Trust's operational lead for dementia, said: "The funding from the WRVS will allow us to build on the work that is already underway at the Trust. We have already introduced a pop up reminiscence pod to Ward 23 at the BRI to improve the environment for patients with dementia. It's a pop up living room that comes complete with authentic 1950s furniture and memorabilia and helps to break up the patients' day. It's an ideal setting for staff to get to know their patients better. 

"The funding will enable us to have a further three of these pods across the Trust." 

John Clifford, service delivery manager for WRVS, said: "WRVS is really pleased to be able to provide these funds for improving dementia services within the Trust.  The hard work and commitment of our wonderful volunteers and staff has resulted in the gift of these funds being made possible and I am hugely proud of them all. WRVS looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Trust to support patients, carers and families."