Hundreds of healthcare staff travel to Swindon to learn more about dementia

Posted: May 16, 2017

More than 200 set to take part in unique event

A unique event which aims to explore and challenge the facts surrounding dementia attracted interest from more than 200 healthcare professionals from across the South West. 

Hosted by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Making Sense of Dementia was held at the Steam Museum on Thursday 18 May and saw hundreds of clinical minds come together to learn more about the condition, which currently affects one in three over 65 year olds. 

Speakers from organisations across the region, including the University of Bath, Alzheimer's Support and the Royal Voluntary Service, were present at the event and used it as an opportunity to share the latest ideas, research and theories with people who care for patients on every day. 

Dementia is a degenerative condition which impacts everyday brain functions, such as memory, thinking ability, language, understanding and judgment. 

Although medication can sometimes be prescribed to help control the side-effects of the condition, there is currently no cure and symptoms will often get worse over time. 

As well as discussions around the latest treatment and preventative measures, the day also looked at the many alternative approaches being taken by patients and their families to help manage their diagnosis. 

Guests heard how music can play a big part in supporting a patient's long-term memory, while there was also discussion around the benefits of common holistic treatment options such as aromatherapy, massage and other relaxation methods. 

Helen Booth, a trainer at GWH's staff education centre, the Academy said: "This was a fantastic event and one that really cemented our position as a trust that's leading the way in providing the very best care to the most vulnerable patients. 

"With people living longer, the number of people being diagnosed with dementia will increase which is why an event like this are so important. 

"Having so many like-minded people together under one roof, sharing ideas, challenging what's gone before and learning about the latest research isn't something that happens every day. 

"The whole GWH team were incredibly excited to welcome so many of our colleagues from across the region to Swindon for what was a really insightful day for all." 

Providing the very best dementia care for people in Swindon and Wiltshire has been a priority for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in recent years. 

A dedicated dementia-friendly ward, complete with non-shiny floors to reduce falls, as well as a host of other discrete adaptations to make hospital stays safer and more comfortable for people with the condition, opened in late 2014. 

Elsewhere, the Trust also promotes the use of the This is Me passport, which provides hospital staff with important personal information about a patient such as their likes, dislikes and preferred names, and the Forget Me Not flowers which, when placed on a person's medical notes, immediately highlights their condition to staff. 

For more information, visit www.gwh.nhs.uk.

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