Dementia champions at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are reminding nursing teams about the importance of understanding the needs of those living with dementia, through the relaunch of the Forget–Me–Not initiative.
The national initiative involves the patient, their relative or carer completing a form specifying the patient’s likes, dislikes, preferences, daily routines and anything that may distress them. A blue Forget-Me-Not flower symbol is then placed in their notes and above their beds, so those with the condition can be easily identified by staff.
Anita Ruckledge, Dementia Lead Nurse, at the Trust said, “We have recently launched our new dementia and delirium strategy across the Trust and have used this as an opportunity to relaunch the Forget-Me-Not initiative.
“It works tremendously well in enabling us to better understand the needs of patients. By knowing more about why they may be behaving in a certain way, we are able to meet their needs much more quickly. This can have many benefits across a busy ward and also gives relatives more peace of mind.”
Anita and her team regularly run dementia workshops for staff and held one recently on one of the elderly care wards at Pinderfields, highlighting the Forget-Me-Not and its importance to dementia patients. Since this workshop they have seen a marked increase in the number of patients on the ward who have been identified under the initiative.
James Barraclough is the manager on the ward, he said, “We’ve welcomed many new members to the nursing team recently so having the opportunity to brief them all about the Forget-Me-Not initiative has been invaluable. There is no doubt it makes a difference to the experience the patients have when we fully understand the extent and nuances of their dementia.”