Addenbrooke’s nurses showcase work at Florence Nightingale conference

22 February 2013
Three Addenbrooke's nurses have had their posters accepted at next week's Florence Nightingale Foundation annual conference.

Maria DaCosta, a dementia practice development nurse, will present a poster on the person-centred care provided for a patient with dementia. Maria says: "We provide person-centred care for all our patients, but I wanted to highlight the commitment of time and effort involved, and any difficulties we met along the way."

Karen MilesCommunication between patients, carers and clinical staff is always important, but it is especially vital when the patient has dementia, says Maria. "We needed to make links with community organisations such as Compass, CLAHRC researchers, carers and staff because the patient had difficulty expressing herself and we needed to find out more information to ensure the patient's wellbeing and support her carers."

The result is that the patient became more calm, her condition stabilised and she was removed from the red special list (where patients are identified as needing one-on-one care). She is now ready for discharge, pending a placement in the community.

"Although the patient can't communicate verbally, we can tell from her body language when she's happy," says Maria. "Through person-centred care, staff could see the evolution in the patient and it reinforces the training they've had through HIEC and the ward-based sessions run by Joy Bray and Anita Youngman.

"Dementia care is something we're all talking about and this is a great opportunity to show other NHS staff what we've done, promote the hard work of staff and share learning."

The other two posters will be presented by Karen Thomson, who has been working with University of Cambridge researchers on readmission rates for patients with learning disabilities, and Karen Miles, whose paper looks at follow-up care for women who have had hypertension during pregnancy.

Jill Down, lead nurse for professional development, said: "We're really proud that CUH nurses are presenting work at such a prestigious conference and are pleased to support them to do so.  It is particularly important to recognise the contribution that clinical nurses make to patient care and also to celebrate the partnerships developed with researchers."