WORKFORCE: Ward staff at Royal Devon and Exeter FT have had specialist training on how to handle difficult situations involving dementia patients who may be confused or upset on the wards.

The trust’s security service has teamed up with senior mental health workers from Devon Partnership Trust to deliver the training to staff including nurses and therapists.

The Dementia Champions training includes showing staff the best way to manage patients who may have trouble controlling their emotions or behave inappropriately because of their condition.

At least 80 staff will have been trained by the end of the year under the scheme, which aims to improve care but also reduce injuries to staff caused by confused and agitated patients.

“Nursing and therapy staff work daily with very challenging patients who often have severe dementia,” said matron Debbie Cheeseman.

“Our patients should be looked after by staff who understand their needs and will look after them and their families with kindness and consideration.

“To have our own training designed within our wards has been a fantastic development.

“We now have ward champions who support and teach their colleagues and ensure that this improvement in patient care goes from strength to strength.”