Yorkshire nurse meets David Cameron in recognition of pioneering dementia work


A nurse who works in older people’s mental health services at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust attended a reception at 10 Downing Street in recognition of being nominated at this year’s Nursing Standard Awards.

Suzanne Wightman, project lead at the Trust, was nominated at the awards, along with a group of colleagues, for their work in producing ‘Portrait of a Life’, a multimedia toolkit created to improve the quality of life of older people and particularly those living with dementia. The initiative was supported with funding from the Mental Health Foundation.

The reception was hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley. Suzanne said, "Attending the reception was a real honour and a great opportunity to discuss the work being done to improve the lives of those with dementia. I was able to speak with the Prime Minister about the use of life story work as a therapeutic approach and present him with a copy of the toolkit."

The hard work of the ‘Portrait of a Life’ team has also been recognised in the last 12 months at the International Dementia Excellence Awards and the Nursing Times Awards, when they were shortlisted as finalists at both ceremonies.

The multimedia toolkit was created with the aim of improving the quality of life of people living with dementia in care homes. Since its launch in 2009, the 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.

For more information about Portrait of a Life, visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk

Yorkshire nurse meets David Cameron in recognition of pioneering dementia work

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