Forget-me-nots to help improve care for people with dementia

The quality of care for dementia patients is set to improve with the help of a small blue flower. Senior Sister Anita Ruckledge with Forget Me Not blue flower logo


The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Forget-Me-Not scheme aims to provide better services for people with the condition at its hospitals in Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury and reassure their loved ones that they are receiving the best possible care.


At the centre of the scheme is the blue flower symbol of the Forget-Me-Not. This will be put in patients’ case notes and above their beds to help ensure those with the condition are easily identified by staff and their care is planned accordingly.


Deputy Associate Director of Nursing for Medicine, Helen Green, said: “We want to make the Trust a centre of excellence for dementia treatment.


“The forget-me-not scheme is part of our ongoing drive to improve our care and make sure the most vulnerable patients get the attention and support that they need.


“We also want to reassure the family and friends of patients that we are doing everything in our power to provide them with the support they need and deserve at what can be a difficult time.”


As part of its commitment to dementia treatment the Trust will also ensure:


  • All staff have the right knowledge and skills to care for such patients
  • Family  and carers will be encouraged to support our care in hospital and be involved in care planning
  • A dementia assessment/screening will be done on all patients over 75 years old who are admitted acutely to hospital
  • Our ward environment will be dementia friendly



In addition, the Trust is investing in training by enabling all staff to take part in free dementia training courses run by the Bradford Dementia Group.


The Trust is supporting a nationwide drive to improve care or people with dementia across the country.


The scheme has been launched with a roadshow at Pinderfields Hospital yesterday (Tuesday 21 January). Nursing staff were to speak to spread the message to hospital staff and visitors about dementia and their plans to make sure the Trust’s hospitals provide the best possible care for dementia patients.


Further road shows are planned for Dewsbury and Pontefract hospitals later this year.


Alongside these events, the Trust is asking members of the public to be a part of the scheme by seeking Forget Me Not volunteers, who would work directly with families and patients affected by dementia.


These new volunteers would undergo full training to enable them to become a dementia friend and get involved in recreational activities with patients.


The Trust has also launched a competition for members of the public to suggest or donate objects from the 1950s and 1960s to help create memory boxes, which will be used by the volunteers to invoke memories of these eras.


Among other schemes being developed is a reminiscence room at Pinderfields Hospital. This room would enable them to carry out a range of activities to stimulate memories and enable communication between the patient and carer.


Full information on the volunteers scheme and the memory box competition can be found on the dementia care section of the Trust’s website.



Photo caption: Senior Sister Anita Ruckledge with the Forget Me Not Flower


Notes to Editors:


  • The term dementia describes a set of symptoms that include loss of memory, mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning. Dementia UK estimates that between 750,000 and 820,000 people in the UK have dementia with the number expected to rise to more than 1 million by 2021.


·         It is estimated that over the next 10 years the number of people with dementia will triple. In addition, it is believed that at any one time, at least a quarter of hospital in-patients across England have dementia.