Nurses from an ongoing joint project between The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust have won the prestigious Nursing Times award for mental health nursing.
The winning project, called dementia mapping, is jointly funded by both Trusts and is led by matron Fay McKalroy and run by nurses Kath Williams (team leader), Jo Crossland, Ruth Endicott under the joint name of the Standard 4 team, at Dewsbury and District Hospital.
The focus of the project is to look at how elderly people with dementia and other mental health problems are affected by their treatment on medical wards in a hospital setting. The approach involves a trained staff ‘champion’ sitting at the side of the care area and observing how the patient reacts to the care given by the nursing staff.
Although dementia care mapping is used across the world, it has never been used in an acute hospital setting – which makes the Dewsbury project unique.
Team leader Kath Williams said: "We’re breaking new ground by using the technique in an acute hospital – the approach is predominantly used in mental health, stroke rehabilitation and learning disability settings."
"The mapping has had a big impact. Once you’ve done the training it makes you aware of how to treat patients but also everyone else you come into contact with – it’s all about upholding another’s humanity."
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust chief nurse Tracey McErlain Burns said: "I am delighted that the team has won this very prestigious award especially as it has been awarded by experts from within nursing itself. This is a very interesting and innovative project and shows what can be done when an acute and mental health trust pool their expertise."
Hazel O’Hara the executive nurse director for The South Yorkshire Mental Health Trust said: "It’s fantastic that the team’s work has been recognised in this way. Dementia is common so it’s important that people’s mental health and physical health are looked after when they go to hospital – dementia affects one person in 20 over the age of 65 and one person in five over the age of 80."
These prestigious annual awards are organised by Nursing Times, one of the country’s most respected professional journals, to recognise the incredible achievement of nurses and the contribution they make to health care.