Dementia care a family affair at Biggar's Kello Hospital

Kello Hospital in Biggar has joined a groundbreaking initiative to help patients living with dementia.

Gillian Corbett, Scottish Ambassador for Johns Campaign, with staff and community representatives at the launch of it at Kello.

The hospital has become part of John’s Campaign, an initiative supporting people with dementia by ensuring they are surrounded by familiar faces around the clock by letting their family and carers stay with them on the ward.

Gillian Corbett, chief nurse at Wishaw General Hospital and Scottish ambassador for John’s Campaign, explained at the Kello launch: “It can be of great comfort to dementia patients to have people they know around them while in hospital.

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“We are delighted that Kello is the latest site in Lanarkshire to sign up for this campaign.

“We recognise the vital role relatives and carers have in helping offer person-centred care that is safe and effective.”

John’s Campaign was launched after the death of John Gerrard in 2014, a doctor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his mid-70s and cared for at a hospital in England.

His daughter and a friend founded the campaign as his family believed that he would have had a better quality of life had they been involved in his care in hospital.

Representatives from the community, including Friends of Kello, the voluntary sector, Biggar’s patient group, Biggar High School, the local minister, priest and hospital chaplain were also in attendance at the launch, co-ordinated by the hospital’s Sandra Barrie.

Val de Souza, director of health and social care at South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We place a real premium on working together with carers and families.

“They know the person better than anyone else and are able to give valuable information about the person’s past, their likes and dislikes and what their normal routine is.

“The introduction of John’s Campaign at Kello is reflective of our commitment to this.”

Clydesdale’s Senior Nurse, Karen Thompson, of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “The ethos of John’s Campaign is to facilitate and support carers of people with dementia to remain with their loved one during a hospital admission, ensuring familiarity and connectedness.

“This concept builds on the inclusive ethos of our community hospitals as well as our partnership’s vision, Working together to improve health and wellbeing with the community – in the community.”