Dementia in the spotlight

The North East DeNDRoN and the MHRN working an information stand at St George's Hospital in Morpeth to help inform people of clinical trials and their work.  Researcher Josh Wood talking to Aileen Nicolson.
The North East DeNDRoN and the MHRN working an information stand at St George's Hospital in Morpeth to help inform people of clinical trials and their work. Researcher Josh Wood talking to Aileen Nicolson.
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NHS staff have been engaging with residents at hospitals and libraries across Northumberland to raise awareness of some important issues.

To mark this year’s dementia awareness week, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust held a number of tea parties – some for elderly patients and their families and others for members of the public.

They tied in with the theme of the week, run by the Alzheimer’s Society, which was ‘talking’ as ‘worrying changes nothing, talking changes everything’.

Annie Laverty, director of patient experience at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We were delighted to support this year’s national campaign.

“We know that dementia touches the lives of so many people and yet not everyone feels able to talk about some of the challenges they face.

“We wanted to play our part in helping to improve awareness as well as ensure that patients and their carers get prompt access to the help they need. The tea parties were a resounding success and helped to encourage patients, their families and our staff to talk about dementia together and share their stories in order to help make important changes.”

The trust has recently launched a major awareness campaign to make sure that each and every member of staff is able to spot the signs and symptoms of dementia to support early diagnosis.

Meanwhile, the North East Mental Health Research Network and North East Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network recently set up a stand at St George’s Park mental health hospital in Morpeth.

Workers gave out information about clinical trials – including the ‘It’s OK to ask’ campaign – as well as details about what the networks do and they also ran their own clinical trial on the day, which involved chocolate, to show how the process works.

If you have a medical condition and are undergoing treatment, you can join the campaign by asking your doctor, nurse or consultant about clinical research.