Patients who could become confused or agitated while in hospital are being given extra support following the launch of a new scheme by Cwm Taf University Health Board.
The Enhanced Care Team is made up of healthcare support workers who have additional skills to look after patients who have dementia or challenging behaviours and will supervise and engage with patients who might be at risk of falling, require extra support to adjust to their surroundings or would benefit from additional interaction.
Each patient has an individual care plan developed for their stay in hospital, which will include care and time from the ward team and family and friends. The plan will establish whether a person might benefit from the services of the enhanced care team.
Prior to the development of the team, wards used bank staff to help provide additional support to these patients, however the turnover of staff meant to that it was difficult to develop relationships and get to know the specific needs of individuals.
Members of the team help support the ward staff to build a strong rapport with patients to help understand their needs. They might provide additional care and will work with other health professionals such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists to support their work. They will also organise activities, such as card games and music, to provide patients with meaningful and engaging activities as well as make them feel more settled while in hospital.
The team is already working well in Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and work is going on to establish the service in Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Clare Tyler, Senior Nurse for Enhanced Care, said: “By establishing this service, team members can develop really lovely relationships with patients. They will work to make people feel comfortable in hospital and prevent patients becoming more frail a lower the risk of falling.
“We have already seen the team making a huge difference to patients by engaging with them and helping them with things like exercises outside of their physiotherapy sessions which is really fantastic to see.”