Quality of care for patients with dementia improved in radiology department

Poole Hospital’s radiology department has implemented several new methods that will make X-ray examinations more comfortable for patients living with dementia.

The new methods include: booking in patients with dementia at less busy times, changing a patient’s clothes in the X-ray room rather than a separate changing room, thoroughly preparing all equipment beforehand, decreasing the number of staff involved and working closer with a patient’s carers.

This new approach helps create a calmer and more reassuring environment so the examination can be undertaken with the least possible distress to the patient and thanks to these new ways of working, one patient, who had become distressed during examinations in the past, was scanned with very little discomfort.

As well as in X-ray, the entire radiology team, including the CT, MRI, ultrasound and breast screening departments, have also undergone, or are scheduled to, attend dementia training and have been advised on how to adapt their scanning areas to become more dementia friendly.

The hospital also has a dementia champion for each of its wards and departments. These members of staff are the allocated link nurse for dementia and attend regular meetings to improve practice.

In addition, the Consider Dementia campaign, an appeal set up by the Poole Hospital Charity, has been introduced to help raise funds to further improve the support and the environment for patients with dementia.

Lynsey Moore, dementia nurse specialist, works closely with wards and departments on their dementia care. “I’m very pleased that these new ways of working have been introduced into our X-ray examinations,” said Lynsey, who received the Innovation and Improvement Award at last year’s Poole Hospital Awards for her work on promoting dementia care and awareness.

“Since starting at the Trust, I have striven to improve the dementia care we give and this is a massive step forward.”

Tracey Tuskin, senior radiographer and dementia champion for the X-ray department added: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to improve our service for people living with dementia and this recent examination is proof of how the changes have helped.

“A big thank you to my colleagues who did everything right to make this patient’s experience of the hospital a positive one and in line with how we work in the Poole Approach.”

 

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