Northern Trust welcome Butterfly Scheme to Antrim Area Hospital

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust have been funded to introduce “The Butterfly Scheme” into Antrim Area Hospital to improve the well-being and safety of people with memory impairment or dementia.

The Dementia Services Development Centre Northern Ireland (DSDC NI), with support of DHSSPS and Atlantic Philanthropies’, has released funding to support Antrim Area Hospital to implement The Butterfly Scheme.

The scheme was created by a family carer and is already being used in hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales. It allows people with memory impairment and their carers the choice to “opt in”, so that they are empowered to request specific personalised care during their stay in hospital.

Dr Maura Young Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry for the Northern Trust, said: “We in the Northern Trust are delighted to introduce this scheme to Antrim Area Hospital. We know from feedback from people with dementia and their carers that there is much that we as staff can do to improve their experience of hospital care. The Butterfly Scheme which has been successfully implemented into many hospitals in England and Wales is known to make a real difference to the quality of hospital care. The Northern Trust is committed to making this scheme a success.”

All staff who come into contact with dementia patients, including hospital porters, housekeeping and professional care staff, are trained in the scheme so that the interaction skills and support provided to the person with Dementia is more consistent.

Training workshops were held last week and it is hoped the scheme will be available to patients admitted to the hospital from October onwards. Anyone interested in the scheme should ask staff on the ward for details.

Amanda Leitch Programme Manager of DSDC NI said “Admission to hospital is especially stressful for a person with Dementia. It has been found that People with Dementia who go into hospital often stay far longer than other people who go in for the same procedure. The “Butterfly Scheme” provides not only staff education in basic interaction skills, but it also values the contribution of the carer. This partnership approach can improve the experience and outcomes for the person with Dementia. It is for these reasons that we wanted to support its introduction in Northern Ireland.”

1st October 2013

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