Hospital Champion's Award
The Jersey Alzheimer's Association works closely with the Hospital Champions Group whose aim is to promote a greater understanding of dementia among hospital staff.
When a person who has memory loss and confusion is admitted to hospital it can be a traumatic experience for them. An unknown environment and a busy ward full of strangers can make a person feel frightened and insecure. If they are in pain this can add to their distress because, although the nursing staff are trying to help them, they may not always understand what is happening. This is extremely upsetting for the person and stressful for the staff. It is therefore important that all hospital staff, whether Consultants, nurses, porters or health care assistants understand the emotional needs of the person with dementia.
Jersey Alzheimer's Association was delighted to be approached by the Hospital Champions to ask if we would sponsor a special award to a member of staff who had shown initiative and insight into the needs of people with dementia who are admitted to hospital.
At a Conference on Dementia: Dementia Care - ‘Aspiring to Excellence in Jersey’ hosted by HSSD and the RCN at the General Hospital in St Helier on Thursday 21 September, Rachel McBride said these words:
The Hospital Champions Award is presented each year to an individual or team working either in a Community or Acute Hospital setting, who has worked hard to make a positive difference to people with dementia or their carers.
The 2017 Award is presented to Chantal Ballingal (Ward Manager, Beauport Ward) to recognise the work and effort demonstrated by her and her team in making changes to their practice and to their Ward environment.
Following some negative feedback received from a carer about the experience of their relative and themselves whilst they were on the Ward, Chantal took the opportunity to identify Beauport as a Dementia Champion Ward. She motivated her team to learn about and reflect on the challenges people with dementia may experience when in an acute Hospital setting, and how they could adapt their practice to provide support that focused more on the person. They completed an assessment of the Ward environment and, using the learning from this, developed a poorly used area of the Ward as a lounge space to provide a comfortable and calm place for people to sit.
Chantal was delighted to accept the Award on behalf of her team, acknowledging that without their involvement and support the results they have achieved would not have been possible.
Andrew Le Feuvre presented this year’s winner of the Hospital Champion’s Award and said these words as he announced the winner, Mo Boersma:
"This is a valedictory award for Mo; a champions of champions as she retires in January - without giving too much away I have worked beside Mo for thirty five years and she has a few years on me - with absolute certainty I can say her devotion to her job is legendary - no more so then her work with her colleagues at the General Hospital where she advocates so passionately for dementia patients to receive the best care. She has done this by tirelessly passing on her considerable knowledge to her peers and most importantly leading an example - Mo is the personification of person-centred care."
Rachel McBride, Head of Nursing for Older Adult Mental Health, announced Sister Isobel Hamon of A&E as the winner at our World Alzheimer's Day Tea Party at St Saviour's Parish Hall on 25 September. Isobel was nominated by her Manager, Ann Trotter.
Isobel is a champion for older people including patients who have dementia. She has put a group together and created a "Charter for the Older Person". The aim is to improve the processes, communication and environment for older people in the Hospital.
Isobel painted the walls of a bay a more soothing colour, put up pictures and got more comfortable chairs for patients and visitors. She also ensured better meal provision for patients and relatives instead of the standard sandwiches provided.
Some carers may find it more challenging caring for patients with dementia but Isobel will make a bee line to them as she enjoys caring for older patients knowing that she has the appropriate skills to make a difference.
This year the other nominees were mentioned for public recognition in respect of their work:
Iwona Dabrowska, for the enthusiasm & commitment she demonstrated during a recent course.
Sister Helen Cowham who has dedicated her entire career spanning over four decades to the care of people experiencing various forms of dementia. She treats all people with dignity and respect and dedicates lots of her time to supporting carers.
Diane Saralis from the Memory Clinic and Louise Shaw Occupational Therapist Assistant for their ongoing commitment to the ladies' Thursday Group which takes place in the Hollies Day Centre for people living with dementia.
All involved with HSSD's new Carer Education Sessions: Alison Deakin, Diane Saralis, Louise Shaw, Trish Williams, Sian Wareing-Jones (of Jersey Alzheimer's Association), Sarah Blake, Cilla Honniball and Paul Bridgewater. The Sessions have been developed over the past year and have been very successful according to attendees' feedback.
Andrew Le Feuvre, Manager within the Community Mental Health Team. Andrew is highly regarded by the team for his management skills. He incorporates an empathetic approach to team members in his role as Manager whilst having strong abilities to ensure the team works effectively in fulfilling their commitment to vulnerable clients and their carers.
Rachel McBride, Head of Nursing for Older Adult Mental Health, announced Ann-Marie Sweeny as the winner at our World Alzheimer's Day Tea Party at St Saviour's Parish Hall on 19 September. Ann-Marie, a Community Psychiatric Nurse, was nominated for her dedicated professional work in supporting a family directly affected by dementia.