Top marks for NNUH in national dementia audit
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has been named the best in the country for meeting the nutritional needs of patients living with dementia.
The fourth National Audit of Dementia ranked the Trust top in two out of seven categories for nutrition and for the way it is governed to meet the needs of patients with dementia.
The audit, which was commissioned by NHS Improvement and NHS England and managed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, looked at hospital data as well as speaking to NNUH staff and carers.
The national report placed the Trust at the top of the league out of 195 other hospitals for governance and the involvement of hospital leads and the executive board in leading, planning and monitoring dementia care.
The audit found that the Trust’s Executive board received feedback from patients and carers, there were dementia champions at the most senior levels of the organisation and the physical environment had been reviewed and is dementia friendly.
NNUH also scored the best for meeting patients’ nutritional needs by having protected meal times in all wards and carers are allowed to visit at any time, including meal times.
The Trust also offers complete meal options in the form of finger foods for patients living with dementia every day and the nutrition and hydration needs of patients are communicated during handovers.
The Dementia Support Team at NNUH includes a clinical nurse specialist and dementia support workers who work with patients to provide one to one meaningful activities or some extra person-centred care.
Liz Yaxley, Dementia Services Manager at NNUH, said: “This is fantastic news to be ranked top in two out of seven categories in the National Audit of Dementia, which shows the commitment of all our staff to providing the best possible care and support for patients living with dementia.
“We are proud to have so many dementia champions across the Trust from the very top of the organisation and across all wards and departments. Staff work closely with our catering colleagues at Serco to meet the nutritional needs of patients living with dementia.
“We are not complacent and we are improving our screening for patients who are admitted with potential delirium and we are committed to continuing to improve our person-centred information and support to carers.”
Annie van plan to provide more dementia support in Norfolk
A Long Stratton woman has pledged to set up a mobile dementia support van after being inspired by the care her mother received at NNUH.
Annie Flaherty, who had vascular dementia, was a much-loved mother, wife, grandmother and was a highly skilled theatre nurse and talented dancer.
The 77-year-old spent the last two weeks of her life at NNUH and received support from the Dementia Support Team, nursing staff and palliative care before her death on 22 January.
Her daughter, Nicola King, said their experience of the NHS was “amazing” from the first responders to the A&E staff and ward staff at NNUH who looked after Annie. She has started fundraising to help more families affected by dementia.
Nicola, whose both parents had dementia, said she wanted to give something back by establishing a mobile carers’ information service – “the Annie van”.
She said she would never forget the care her mum received on Langley ward and from the Dementia Support Team who tailored activities to Annie’s interests such as playing her favourite music.
Nicola said: “We found the standard of care on the ward exceptional, and the kindness and empathy. From the moment Mum was admitted, she got her identity back, she was Annie again. They saw past the illness she had and they just saw her.
We were always treated with respect and understanding at NNUH and so was my mum. The staff here were exactly the kind of people that my Mum would have wanted to care for her. Everyone deserves the help and care from a dementia team like the one here.
It was the continuity of care that impressed us – they were never too busy and nothing was ever too much trouble and the ward staff were exactly the same. They were truly amazing and there are no words to describe how much it helped us and my mum.”