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Stay With Me – supporting John’s Campaign

Poole Hospital has signed up to support a national campaign aimed at ensuring carers of patients with dementia are more involved in their care in hospital.

John’s Campaign was founded by Nicci Gerrard after the death of her father, Dr John Gerrard, in November last year. Whilst diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his mid‐70s, John continued to live a good, if limited, life at home, caring for his wife and supported by his family. He was admitted to a hospital in February 2014, aged 86, for treatment for infected leg ulcers. But during his five‐week stay, visits from his family were severely restricted due to an infection outbreak and his health declined significantly.

The campaign seeks to ensure that carers are able to play an active role for those they care for from hospital admission to discharge, which has been linked to improved patient outcomes.

To support this, a three month trial of unrestricted visiting hours for carers of patients with dementia on three elderly care wards at Poole Hospital – Lytchett, Lulworth and Lilliput – began this week. Following the trial, it is hoped these visiting arrangements will be introduced throughout the hospital.

Nicci, who founded the campaign with friend Julia Jones, said she was delighted that Poole Hospital is supporting the campaign.

“We are so pleased and glad that Poole Hospital has joined John's Campaign,” said Nicci.

“By welcoming the carers of people who are frail and vulnerable, they are recognising that compassionate, person-centred, relationship-centred care lies at the heart of good practice.”

Kate Jones, dementia nurse specialist at Poole Hospital, agrees, saying that carers can have an important role in the wellbeing of people with dementia while in hospital.

“While we provide the best healthcare to patients that we can, carers are the experts in the individual,” said Kate.

“As part of a patient’s care team, they can provide insight, support communication and informed consent, and provide continuity which is so important.

“For example, nine out of 10 older patients admitted to hospital leave with different medication to that which they had on arrival.

“People with dementia will often need support with this change, and their carer is the key to their success.”

For more on the campaign, visit

For more on the project at Poole Hospital contact Lizzie Adams, carers support advisor, on 01202 448714

Date: 10 November 2015

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