January 2016


January news

26/01/16: Charity funding helps to ensure dementia patients eat and drink enough in hospital

Man with nurse 01Patients with dementia receiving treatment at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are being offered specialised support to help ensure they are eating and drinking enough while in hospital.

Poor nutrition is experienced by many patients with dementia who find it difficult to eat and drink enough to keep themselves well-nourished and hydrated. Many forget when they last ate and can struggle to eat large meals.

The dementia care team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has developed an innovative hydration and nutrition pathway for patients who have dementia to support them consume the amount they need in hospital. The Dementia Nutritional Support in Hospital Pathway (also known as NoSH) has three levels and aims to improve nutrition and hydration in patients with dementia by providing a tailored response to their needs. The development of NoSH has been supported by the recruitment of two healthcare support workers (HCAs) and is funded by Imperial College Healthcare Charity.

All patients who are admitted to the Trust with a diagnosis of dementia are automatically placed on the first level of the NoSH programme, known as 'core support'. Patients have their weight monitored regularly and their food and fluid intakes recorded to help the nursing team ensure they are getting all they need. Patients are also given 'bento boxes' with healthy snacks providing them with access to nutritious foods on demand and sugar-free squashes to add to water to help keep their fluid levels up.

For patients who require a little more support, the team has developed the 'enhanced' and 'intensive' levels of the programme providing:
• one to one support for dementia patients who struggle to eat and drink enough
• daily reviews of the patient by the NoSH team
• development of eating and drinking goals for the patient in conjunction with their family and the nursing team
• use of music during meals which is scientifically proven to stimulate appetite
• providing five smaller meals a day (rather than the traditional three) which can be easier for some patients with dementia to manage

Nurse, Jo James, dementia care lead at the Trust said: "Good nutrition is a vital part of dementia patients' recovery and goes hand-in-hand with treating their medical needs. Our new patient centred approach to nutrition and hydration allows us to keep a close eye on patients' intake while they are on the wards, which aids a speedy recovery so they can return to their own home sooner."

Ian Lush, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare Charity said: "The funds raised by Imperial College Healthcare Charity enable the Trust to provide patients with improved facilities which go beyond the everyday.

"We are pleased to be able to support this new approach to helping dementia patients with their eating and drinking. This is just one of a package of measures that we have worked with the Trust to introduce to enhance the experience of dementia patients in hospital."

22/01/16: Hospital visitors get an artistic view of the capital

IMG 4525A new series of artworks by local artist Jane Joseph have been installed in Charing Cross Hospital in West London, bringing with them a unique flavour of the capital.

The exhibition Jane Joseph: A View of London is the latest installation organised by Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises money for the five hospitals in London of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and manages an art collection of over 1600 works on display for the benefit of patients, the public and hospital staff.

Inspired by the city’s landscape, these monochromatic works were mostly created by the West London artist known for her drawings and prints using charcoal and chalk on paper. The works include views of the River Thames from Hammersmith Bridge, Brentford, Kew and of the Lethaby Building in Holborn, which was the previous home of Central St Martins art school. Three works in the exhibition also record the interior of Joseph’s studio and include objects such as a plaster cast of the Selene horse from the east pediment of the Parthenon in the British Museum.

Lucy Zacaria, arts manager at Imperial College Healthcare Charity, said: “We’re delighted to be working closely with Jane again on this beautiful exhibition. The works on display transport the viewer on a journey along the Thames, offering a very different view to the daily travels experienced by patients and staff at Charing Cross Hospital.”

This is the second exhibition arranged by the charity that has featured Joseph’s works. The hugely popular ‘Sea, Land and Journeying’, was on display at Hammersmith Hospital between September 2014 and March 2015. Jane Joseph’s work is held in many public collections including the Ben Uri Gallery, London; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Government Art Collection, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Jane Joseph: A View of London is open for public view and can be found in the main reception area on the ground floor at Charing Cross Hospital until 30 April 2016. More about the charity’s art collection can be found here.

12/01/16: One month left to apply for research funding

Imperial College Healthcare Charity is offering qualified health professionals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust up to £50,000 to undertake a period of research for one year.

The charity would like to remind everyone that the deadline for applications, which need to be submitted online, is on Friday 12 February at 5pm.

This is a unique opportunity to develop your research skills through identifying a research question, then developing and delivering a programme to achieve your research aim. It is expected that successful applicants have the intention of pursuing further academic qualifications at some point in the future.

Previous areas of research have included diabetes, stroke, brain injury, obesity and heart problems.

The charity has partnered with the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in the funding of these fellowships, with some awards specifically earmarked for allied health professionals.

For full details or to apply, click here.

If you have any questions, contact grants manager Emma Hale by emailing emma.hale@imperial.nhs.uk or phoning 020 331 22060.

06/01/16: Embrace a challenge this New Year!

IMG 4211 smallWhile your New Year's resolutions are fresh in your mind, why not sign up to take part in one of Imperial College Healthcare Charity's fundraising events?

If getting fit is your intention this year, then signing up to a challenge could provide that extra motivation needed to keep up your new fitness goals.

The charity has places available for a variety of exciting challenge events over the course of 2016. From bike rides to stunning treks, skydives and marathons, there's sure to be an exciting event you can do to help us improve the care given to patients at the Trust. You can fundraise for the charity in general, for a specific appeal such as the More Smiles Appeal or even for your own department.

This year the charity has managed to reserve places for staff at the biggest sporting events, such as the London Marathon, Brighton Marathon and the Prudential 100.

Running the Brighton Marathon on the 17 April would be a unique experience for any runner as the route passes along the seafront and finishes close to the iconic Brighton Pier. With just under 15 weeks until the event, there is still plenty of time to get training for such an exhilarating challenge.

If embracing new experiences and cultures is more your thing, then you could support the Charity by trekking the Great Wall of China on the 14 April. Walking along one of the Seven Wonders of the World would be a truly unforgettable experience and we would support you every step of the way with your fundraising.

However, if those challenges feel a little overwhelming then the charity also has places in the British 10K race on the 10 July. This fun course is accessible for new and experienced runners alike, and gives participants the chance to run past many of the capital's leading landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey!

This is just a sample of the exciting challenges the charity is offering this year, for more information on all the events please click here.

If you would like one of our charity places or if you have your own place on an event we'd love you to be part of our Imperial College Healthcare Charity team, please email Lauren Levy at lauren.levy@imperial.nhs.uk or call 0203 312 5694.

05/01/16: Charity funding helps to create 
dementia-friendly ward at St Mary's Hospital

IMG 3703A newly renovated ward specially designed to support dementia patients has been opened at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington thanks to a grant from Imperial College Healthcare Charity.

It's one of a programme of developments at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to improve care and support for patients with dementia, their carers and families.

Hospitals can be particularly disorientating and frightening places for people with dementia. Witherow ward at St Mary's Hospital has been completely redeveloped with funding from Imperial College Healthcare Charity to reduce confusion and to help patients with dementia to feel safe and secure.

Key improvements on the ward include:

  • specialist lighting which mimics changes in natural light to help prevent patients from being confused about the time of day by artificial lighting
  • a social area where patients can eat their meals together and which is painted orange to help stimulate appetite, as many patients with dementia do not eat enough
  • pictures chosen by the patients themselves and hung over their bed to help them find it
  • doors painted in contrasting colours to help patients easily find the showers and toilets
  • matt wooden flooring, which replaces the old shiny blue coloured flooring that could be confused by some elderly patients as water
  • clocks from the Alzheimer's Society that tell the time and date, which are known to help orientate patients with dementia.

A specialist cubicle has also been developed within the accident & emergency department at St Mary's Hospital to support patients with dementia. A specialist heated trolley and activity packs help to create a more calm and secure environment for patients with dementia.

Jo James, specialist dementia lead at the Trust said: "We know that being admitted to hospital, especially through a busy A&E department, can be really distressing for people with dementia and for their carers and families. With increasing numbers of patients with dementia, it's vital that we rethink how we organise and design hospital spaces. And making our spaces clearer and more relaxing will bring benefits to all patients.

"We are grateful to the charity for their support which has enabled us to make these important changes."

Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial College Healthcare Charity said: "The funds raised by Imperial College Healthcare Charity enable the Trust to provide patients with improved facilities which go beyond the everyday.

"The lighting, flooring and social area on this newly refurbished ward all aim to ensure that the Trust's most vulnerable patients are able to access medical expertise in an environment which can help aide their recovery. We have also provided artworks for the ward from our collection of art which is displayed throughout the hospitals for the benefit of patients, staff and visitors."

A Trust audit, completed last year, found that over a quarter of Trust patients being treated within its medicine division had a diagnosis of dementia and nearly a half had some evidence of cognitive impairment including, dementia, delirium or learning difficulties. The Trust is working to make improvements so that patients with dementia have a better experience wherever they are in our hospitals.

As well as the redevelopment of Witherow ward and the specialist A&E cubicle at St Mary's Hospital, the Trust:

  • Has rolled out a carer's passport scheme that encourages and supports the carers of patients who are vulnerable or who have dementia to visit whenever they want to, outside of normal visiting hours.
  • Has introduced bento boxes for patients with dementia enabling them to snack on healthy food throughout the day.
  • Has introduced activity packs for patients with dementia to help keep them relaxed and occupied while they are in hospital.

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