Helping patients with dementia


The Emerald Unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, a teaching hospital within Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, is designed for people admitted to hospital with a medical problem related to dementia.

The Emerald Unit is a hub of good practice and a base from which the team can reach out to all areas of the hospital where there are people with dementia. The criteria for admission to the ward is that the patients need to be acutely clinically unwell with an intensity of need around their dementia. There are no age limits applied and they take patients from across the trust. 

The unit created a shared manifesto for practices across the trust relating to dementia. To ensure all staff could be involved in this process, the unit ran sessions inviting staff from all levels and across all multi-disciplinary teams to attend where they undertook role play to establish what they felt the most important issues for the patients and staff were, and to understand what was important to individuals within the team.

They took a creative approach with producing the manifesto, using a cartoon for the final version to illustrate their combined values, beliefs and aspirations.

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