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Dementia work in Lancashire is ‘Fabulous’

Posted on the 17th August 2016

Writer and commentator Roy Lilley and Dr Terri Porrett from the Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff recently visited The Harbour in Blackpool to hear about the latest developments in dementia care taking place for residents in Lancashire.

The Academy gathers details of all the great work that takes place across the NHS including service provision, patient care and examples of best practice. The pair visited The Harbour, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s 154 bed inpatient mental health hospital, to look at and hear about the developments taking place at the Trust around inpatient dementia care.

They were given a tour of the site, looking at the dementia wards and hearing about the importance of décor and layout to avoid frustration for patients, and having a walk on the ‘wander path’ which provides a safe pathway for patients to walk both inside and outside the ward, all colour coded to support independence. The pair then visited the dementia pub and café which were installed earlier this year to encourage reminiscence, activity and even nutrition and hydration and have proven very popular with patients. The tour then went through to the sports hall which is used by patients for not only sports but movie nights and other activities to allow socialising while receiving support and treatment.

Roy Lilley said of the visit:

“The holy grail of modern health services is integration; making the patient experience seamless between departments and services.  It is difficult in normal circumstances but when health, social and the voluntary sector are involved it becomes almost impossible.

“The Harbour has achieved the impossible. 

“With the clever use of technology, by careful planning and putting the patients and their families front and centre, they have shown us all how to do it and do it well.”

Dr Amanda Thornton, Clinical Director, Consultant Psychologist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and a Dementia Clinical Lead for NHS England Strategic Clinical Networks said:

“We were delighted to host Roy and Terri and be able to showcase the fantastic work taking place within the Trust to provide the highest quality care for our patients. Everyone enjoyed the day and we were delighted they spotted something ‘unique’ in our offer that they wanted to come and see for themselves. They were very complimentary of the work taking place at The Harbour by our staff and the modern, purpose-built approach to dementia care in the area.

“We are extremely proud of our staff who are dedicated to providing compassionate care and are always looking for innovative ways to make improvements. The dementia café and pub are great examples of this and have been a huge success amongst our patients and their families as it provides a lovely and familiar space for them to sit.”

The tour also took the time to explore a mock-up of a living room packed with discrete easy-to-use technology which allowed them to hear about and experience the developments with the NHS England test bed programme, an initiative of which Lancashire Care and partners are working on to provide support for frail and older people living with long term conditions and mild dementia to self-manage their care at home using technology.