Sheffield Hospitals Charity Fund Dementia Bus Initiative

Sheffield Hospitals Charity Fund Dementia Bus Initiative

Sheffield Hospitals Charity recently funded a Virtual Dementia Tour which provided multiple sessions across 6 days to help Sheffield Teaching Hospitals staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of what living with dementia is like.

The Virtual Dementia Tour, provided by Training 2 Care, was funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and is the only scientifically and medically proven method of giving a person with a healthy brain the experience of what living with dementia might be like.

Staff were also given the opportunity to become a Dementia Champion in their specific areas to share their learnings with colleagues.

The project aims are for attendees to gain or consolidate an understanding of the physical and sensory changes that someone living with dementia may experience; to reflect on how patients living with dementia may experience care within the NHS; and to reflect upon the approach when caring for people living with the condition.

Beth Crackles, Chief Executive of Sheffield Hospitals Charity said:

"It can be challenging for us, as Charity staff, to get a true sense of what NHS colleagues and patients are really going through. But the dementia bus brought us as close as anyone can get to experiencing it. I was shocked by how isolated and disempowered I felt during – and for some time after – the experience and humbled by hearing more about the care given to people affected by dementia in Sheffield’s hospitals.

Sheffield Hospitals Charity funds the Dementia Practitioner Team, who work across all of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT, supporting the development of dementia-friendly environments and care. We’re working with the team to explore how we can support more innovative dementia work across the Trust over the coming years."

Sally Byers, Dementia Practitioner, said:

"We sought funding for The Virtual Dementia Tour because it has been evidenced to significantly increase staff empathy and understanding for the challenges that people with dementia face. The bus uses virtual reality and sensory enhancements to replicate the ways dementia can cause physical and sensory changes and confusion for people. By developing a deeper understanding, staff are then able to enhance the care they provide and improve the experience for patients and their families who access our services."

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Published: Monday 4th of March 2024