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NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is holding a number of information roadshows across its hospitals between 1-10 June to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week and Carers Week.
During Dementia Awareness Week, the health board is focusing on people’s capacity to make decisions while in hospital and ensuring the right steps are taken where they unable.
This assessment is done using the Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland) which protects patients unable to understand information allowing them to make decisions around their healthcare and other issues.
The Act ensures their opinions are listened to, but gives agreed people the powers to make decisions in the patient’s best interests if necessary. The information stand will have information on Welfare Power of Attorney which enables someone trusted by the patient to make the right decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so in the future.
Continuing to raise awareness of delirium - a condition that can affect 1 in 8 people in hospital – remains a strong focus of the information stand. Delirium, an acute decline in mental functioning, is linked with a 2-3 fold increased length of hospital stay, increased risk of falls and a higher risk of mortality.
Dr Hazel Miller, consultant physician, NHSGGC, said: “NHSGGC is already one of the top health boards in the UK for the diagnosis and early treatment of dementia.
“Last year we launched the board’s Delirium Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy to further build on our existing management of delirium.
“This year we want to make sure we identify anyone in hospital who is not capable of making their own decisions, whether because of dementia, delirium, other causes of confusion, poor level of consciousness or serious communication problems.
“Our role is to listen to the patient, but also to involve their Next of Kin, Welfare Power of Attorney or Guardian to ensure that the right decisions are made.
“We’re dedicated to tailoring care so that it meets the needs of the patient and our new paperwork system is designed to support this while promoting excellent communication between staff, patients and their relatives.
“I’d urge people to visit the information stand so that we can promote a better understanding of how this affects them and what they can do.
Public Health staff will join the roadshow to promote the key messages of Carers Week and promote awareness of the Carers Agenda. They will stress the importance of carers considering their own health and welfare as well as detailing where they can get help and support.
Elaina Smith, health improvement senior, NHSGGC, said: “We know that 1 in 8 of the population looks after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. However, many don’t recognise they are in a caring role or the impact this may be having on their own health and wellbeing.
“We’re keen to speak with as many relatives, friends and staff as possible over the course of Carers Week. By talking with us, we can highlight the different ways our services can provide support to those providing this caring role both while in hospital and in their local communities.
“We’re acutely aware of the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families.
“It’s important friends and family realise their work is recognised and valued. However, they don’t need to do it all by themselves. We can provide support for carers to look after their family, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.”
Anyone looking to find out more can come along to one of the stands at: