South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s lead continence nurse Jane Spencer, who works at Fieldhead, has been named Dementia Nurse of the Year.
The Dementia UK awards are sponsored by the University of Stirling (a recognised lead in research on people with dementia) and provide an opportunity to celebrate the important work carried out to improve the quality of life for people with dementia.
Jane, who previously won the prestigious Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year 2007 in the mental health category, helps people with dementia manage incontinence problems via diet and lifestyle techniques, as well as educating carers on the condition.
Incontinence is often the determining factor in a relative or carer of someone with dementia deciding they can no longer cope and putting their loved one into care.
By adopting several approaches Jane has been able to help tackle the problem and offer support to relatives and carers, as well as share her methods with fellow practitioners, which has dramatically reduced episodes of incontinence across the Trust.
Manager of Wakefield district older people’s services James Waplington said, “It is fantastic that Jane’s commitment and innovative ideas have once again been recognised. The award shows her dedication to helping people with dementia and is proof that the NHS is at the forefront of using efficient and innovative ways that not only provide a high quality of care but save money. More importantly Jane’s work has enabled people to stay at home while maintaining their dignity.”
Another service dedicated to helping older people with dementia living in Wakefield was also recognised at the awards, with the discharge liaison service named as a runner-up for the Best Innovation in Practice Award.
The discharge liaison service provides unique and specialist care for older people with dementia by ensuring they are appropriately supported to function to their best of their ability in their own homes, rather than in a hospital or care setting.
Although the team is still fairly new nobody assessed by the team has had to go into care after leaving hospital and instead have been able to return home where support is received most effectively.
Assistant director of older people’s services Sue Barton said, “It’s always great when the hard work of staff and the Trust is recognised and these awards show how invaluable the services are to local people. The work by- both Jane and the discharge liaison service- have proved how our staff make a real difference to someone’s life.”