East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust trains staff to be Dementia Friends
Ambulance service staff in Bishop's Stortford have been trained to provide better support for patients and their families that are living with or touched by dementia.
They are among 2,000 across the region as the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) aims to be recognised as a Dementia Friendly Organisation as part of a three-year plan.
This is in line with the NHS 10-year-plan's commitment to improving public awareness and professional understanding of dementia.
EEAST will be formally accredited as a Dementia Friend by the Alzheimer's Society once all staff are trained and plans for on-going training are in place.
More than 850,000 people in the in UK currently live with dementia, with that figure expected to raise as the population ages.
Duncan Moore, EEAST's clinical lead for the project, said: "We often attend patients living with dementia as a result of an accident, injury or sudden illness – circumstances anyone might find upsetting and confusing. Living with the condition increases the impact and challenges faced by all.
"They might also calling us on behalf of someone else, or they could be the relative or partner of a patient we are treating.
"We deal with people with dementia in lots of situations, so It's important all our staff have a good awareness around the many ways it affects people, so that they are able to support those living with dementia, and know how to communicate with patients with empathy and compassion so as to reduce their anxiety."
The training has been developed collaboratively for EEAST by the University of Hertfordshire.