Butterflies help hospital patients with dementia 

19/01/2011 00:00 

Initiatives to ensure patients with dementia receive the most effective and appropriate care are being launched at University College Hospital (UCH) next week (Wednesday January 26th).

T10 team (l-r) Tomasz Jandiz, healthcare assistant/dementia advocate; Juanita Berridge, staff nurse/dementia advocate; charge nurses Georgina Turnbull and Darren Barnes; and Dexter Regarde, healthcare assistant dementia advocate

Carers, patients and members of the public are invited to talk to staff to find out more about the plans which are in line with the NHS national strategy “Living with Dementia.”  There will be a display stand in the main reception area from 1030 until 2pm.

UCH is the first hospital in the capital to introduce the butterfly image above beds and on the front cover of medical notes to identify those patients who may need extra-special attention. Patients also have the option to wear a blue wristband - a simple, practical way of identifying those who have dementia-related memory impairment and wish staff to be aware of it.

The Butterfly Scheme makes this clear to staff in a simple, practical way: resulting in more effective and appropriate care, reduced stress levels and increased safety and well-being.

Additionally, hand picked staff champions will keep a watchful eye to ensure these patients are given the most appropriate care.

A “This is me” fact file about the patient’s personal history including former occupation, hobbies and interests also aims to focus the attention on the person behind the dementia.

Vicki Leah, nurse consultant for older people, will also unveil new guidelines which include care plans and details on assessing pain in patients who are not able to articulate their discomfort.

Vicki said: “Patients with dementia are mothers, husbands, former models, former spitfire pilots. We all need to be reminded of the person behind the illness.”

  • The Butterfly Scheme was developed by a woman whose mother suffered from dementia. The “This is me “fact file was developed by The Alzheimer’s Society.

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