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The team on Oak Ward at the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury has been shortlisted for a national award.

The hospital avoidance programme, which began as a pilot scheme in March 2016 has continued to grow and develop and has been recognised in the inaugural National Older People’s Mental Health and Dementia Awards.

The aim of the programme is to reduce admissions, or where someone needs to come into hospital, to reduce the length of stay required. Telephone based advice and support programme, complimented by further support, visits and assessments when required, provides specialist mental health nursing support out of hours at weekends in order to avoid hospital admissions for dementia patients living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Admission to hospital for a person with dementia can be traumatic and can lead to an escalation in confusion, disorientation and associated behaviours.  In addition distress caused to carers can increase. 

Research suggests that increased hospital stays can have a negative effect on people with dementia including having a significant negative effect on their general physical health and on the symptoms of dementia, such as becoming more confused and less independent. 

Sharon Madden, ward manager said “We recognised that many acute admissions were due to challenging behaviour from dementia patients already in 24 hour care settings and the hospital avoidance programme was created to offer support and assessment from multidisciplinary team staff who are experienced in managing challenging dementia care patients.  We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award and look forward to the opportunity to share this innovative way of working”.
The Positive Practice in Mental Health (PPiMH) Collaborative and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) are working together to help identify and share examples of how good mental health care can be delivered.  The annual awards celebrate positive practice in mental health.   This year’s awards ceremony will be held in Bristol on 11 July when the Oak Ward team will find out if they are national winners.

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