New chairs help carers stay with loved ones overnight in Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Family members helping to care for loved ones with dementia can now comfortably stay close by them overnight in Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s new “buddy” chairs.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 1st November 2019, 9:26 am
New buddy chairs are designed to allow carers to enjoy a comfortable stay with loved ones overnight in hospital wards
New buddy chairs are designed to allow carers to enjoy a comfortable stay with loved ones overnight in hospital wards

Thanks to John’s Campaign – a national initiative which aims to provide the best possible care for people with dementia when they are admitted to hospital – 16 of the special new chairs have been purchased for use throughout FVRH.

Although NHS Forth Valley already operates flexible visiting times, patients with dementia may benefit from reassurance and support throughout the night from a family member or carer who knows them best and the buddy chairs make this possible.

Nicola Wood, Alzheimer Scotland dementia nurse consultant, said: “We are delighted that we now have the facilities to support overnight stays in all of our inpatient areas. Having family members present during what may be an unfamiliar experience can go a long way to preventing potential distress for people with dementia.

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“We would encourage people with dementia and their families to speak with staff regarding how they and their loved one can be supported during a hospital admission to ensure the best possible experience for all.”

NHS Forth Valley was the first Health Board in Scotland to implement John’s Campaign, named after Dr John Gerrard, who died in November 2014.

It was founded by his daughter Nicci Gerrard and her friend Julia Jones with a single, simple principle of ensuring when someone with dementia is admitted to hospital, the staff should do all within their power to make access easy for family carers and utilise their expert knowledge and their love.

NHS Forth Valley director of nursing Professor Angela Wallace added: “We are pleased to be part of this innovative and important campaign. We have a person-centred approach to visiting, which ensures flexibility to suit the needs of the individual and family, friends and carers.”