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Princess Alexandra Hospital dementia specialist in running for Nurse of the Year

Caroline Ashton-Gough with patient (13128460)
Caroline Ashton-Gough with patient (13128460)

A nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital who is dedicated to improving care for patients with dementia is a Nurse of the Year finalist in the annual Nursing Times Awards.

Caroline Ashton-Gough is an invaluable support for elderly patients at the Harlow hospital, with a particular focus on the specialist Gibberd Ward, which cares for the frail elderly, patients with dementia and those who are at the end of life.

She helped develop a team of dementia champions and promoted the creation of a sensory garden for Gibberd Ward patients.

Aware of the effectiveness of music therapy on people living with dementia, Caroline has organised weekly 'Singing for the Brain' sessions for PAH patients.

She has also focused on delirium, a particular problem for people living with dementia, and in order to increase understanding of the condition, she organised a community learning event attended by 150 clinicians and therapists.

Outside her hospital work, Caroline has been a speaker at a host of national events, including the Royal College of Nursing Congress event in Liverpool and the RCN Delirium Champions Event at RCN headquarters in London.

Her nomination stated: "She's a campaigner, an educator and a researcher, but first and foremost she is a nurse who displays the utmost compassion for her patients and colleagues. She has dedicated her life and career to her patients and has shown unwavering commitment to enhancing dementia care specifically."

Caroline is currently working on a doctorate in health research at the University of Hertfordshire, looking at the effect of delirium when superimposed on dementia, and she volunteers for the Alzheimer's Society.

The awards ceremony will take place at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on October 30.

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