View Full Version : New dementia post

11-Oct-12, 18:55
Consultant nurse aims to ensure no-one goes through it alone

The Highlands' first Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant has been appointed.
Based in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, but covering all NHS Highland’s area, Ruth Mantle is one of a network of new Dementia Nurse Consultants being appointed to all 14 health boards Scotland as part of Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy.
The posts are being funded by the charity Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Government for three years, after which the boards are expected to continue to fund them.
The role’s key focus is to improve the experience for people with dementia and their families if they have to be admitted to acute or community hospitals.
Ruth, a former Community Psychiatric Nurse for Older Adults, said: "I am looking forward in my new role to helping to support Alzheimer Scotland’s commitment to ensure that no-one goes through dementia on their own."
Among the initiatives Ruth is working on is the imminent introduction to Raigmore Hospital of the Butterfly scheme, in which patients can chose to be identified to staff, by means of a discreet butterfly symbol, as having dementia or suspected confusion. It is hoped to roll the scheme out to other hospitals in NHS Highland’s area if the Raigmore pilot is successful.
Ruth and colleague Caroline Parr, the Dementia Nurse Practitioner, have also helped to introduce a screening tool at Raigmore, which will be spun out to other hospitals in the Highlands, for people with cognitive impairment and delirium; and a resource pack for hospital staff on supporting people who have dementia.
And she will help to introduce the ‘This is Me’ tool, a leaflet developed by Alzheimer’s Society and the Royal College of Nursing which helps hospital staff better understand the needs of people with dementia.
"Simple things like that go a long way to helping staff help people with dementia," said Ruth.
Ruth will also provide leadership for the network of ‘dementia champions’ being introduced in the Highlands, and the rest of the country, through a programme funded by the Scottish Government and delivered through Alzheimer Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland. The ‘champions’ will help to ensure that the needs of people with dementia in acute general hospitals are met.
Some 4,000 people in the Highlands have dementia – and the number is expected to double in the next 25 years.