Funding of £75,000 sees creativity introduced to staff and patients at a North East NHS memory clinic.
AN innovative project will use a variety of creative and artistic approaches to help communicate thoughts and feelings with patients, their carers and staff.
The pioneering scheme will bring visual arts, creative writing and multi-sensory artistic methods to patients and staff at the Newcastle Memory Assessment and Management Service, based in the Centre for the Health of the Elderly in Newcastle.
The project was this week named among the 23 nationally to share £1.65m from The Health Foundation’s Innovating and Improvement Programme.
For the next 15 months we'll be training staff using the Imagination Model, which combines an understanding of their own creativity with how important it can be for people with dementia.
Our co-director Alice Thwaite said: “We’re delighted to be working with the clinic on this innovative project, bringing the benefits of creativity to all involved.
“We know our sessions, led by professional artists, will support patients and staff to use creativity to communicate and improve wellbeing.”
Taking part in the training can help staff seek new ways to communicate and engage with patients, adding value to their professional lives, and helping them serve their patients better.
Our team will also support staff, patients and carers, creating a series of patient support groups led by professional artists who specialise in delivery of programmes with older people.
Dr Charlotte Allan, Consultant Psychiatrist, Newcastle Memory Assessment and Management Service, said: “We are very excited to be working with the Health Foundation, and Equal Arts, on such an innovative project. We are looking forward to using creative, arts-based activities to support staff wellbeing and extend this to our patients and their carers.”
Dementia affects one in 14 people over the age of 65, and one in six people over 80.
The Newcastle service, which is part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), receives 80 – 100 referrals per month, and approximately 60 per cent of patients are diagnosed with dementia.
Creative activities are helpful interventions within dementia care, with patients showing improved cognitive processes, attention, stimulation of memories and enhanced communication with carers.
Sarah Henderson, Assistant Director of Improvement Programmes at the Health Foundation, added: “We’re excited to support this project, one of 23 that have been developed by frontline teams to improve health and social care across the UK.
“We are looking forward to working with the teams to develop their innovative ideas, put them into practice, and gather evidence about how their projects are improving care for patients.”
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