Local NHS staff nominated for international dementia award


A group of staff from the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been nominated for the team of the year award at the International Dementia Excellence Awards 2010.

The members of staff who work in older people’s services for the Trust have all been part of producing an innovative multimedia toolkit, which has gained international recognition for its role in improving the lives of people with dementia and promoting wellbeing for people with other needs.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist NHS mental health and learning disability services to nearly 1 million people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

The toolkit, ‘Portrait of a Life’ originated as part of a national scheme to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia in care homes. The initiative, which was given £15,000 funding from the Mental Health Foundation, was originally launched in June 2009. Since then the multimedia toolkit has been developed to help create life stories for people, particularly those living with dementia in a wide range of community and care settings as a way of piecing together their past and promoting positive care planning for the future.

The multimedia toolkit contains materials that will help individuals to understand the importance of working with people living with conditions such as dementia and their families to build ‘life stories’ as well as practical examples and guidance on how to do this. The toolkit also provides the evidence base and guidance on how to produce a life story in a variety of formats tailored to suit the needs of the individual.

The hard work of the ‘Portrait of a Life’ team is being recognised at this year’s International Dementia Excellence Awards, which are designed to highlight good practice of organisations and individuals who have worked to improve the quality of life of people with dementia.

The awards, which are organised by the Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling are being held in London at the Excel centre to celebrate the important work being undertaken internationally to support people with dementia and are a celebration of innovation and good practice.

Suzanne Wightman, senior manager in practice development for the Trust who leads the project added, "It is fantastic that the team have been nominated for this award. Life story work is already making a massive difference for individuals with dementia, their families and staff caring for them. We are delighted they have been recognised for this multimedia toolkit which has the potential to help so many people.”

The team will find out if they have been successful at this year’s awards on 20th October in London.

The toolkit has also been nominated in the ‘Innovation’ category in this year’s national Nursing Times awards. The winner will be revealed on 3rd November, again in London.

If you would like to find out more about the ‘Portrait of a Life’ toolkit, or if you want to be kept up to date with developments, please email dcm@swyt.nhs.uk or telephone Andrea Trangmar, project administrator, on 01484 343207.

Local NHS staff nominated for international dementia award

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