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"I work as a Consultant in Elderly Medicine. I am also the Trust’s Dementia lead.

"I grew up and qualified in Leeds and have never worked outside of Yorkshire! It’s sometimes hard to believe but it has been 18 years since I was appointed. I was attracted to Elderly Medicine soon after my house jobs because of its emphasis on team working, holistic care and the wide variety of conditions we see. I work on Ward 23 which is a general elderly ward and Ward 37 which is a medical ward for older patients with Delirium and Dementia.

"Hospitalisation for patients with Dementia and Delirium can be a frightening experience and can also be associated with adverse outcomes such as falls and increased length of stay. It can also be very stressful for relatives and carers. We aim to assess such patients on Ward 37 which is a specialist ‘Dementia friendly’ ward. It is remarkable that so many patients settle soon after transfer without the use of sedative drugs what we have termed ‘The Ward 37 Effect’!

"I enjoy the all-inclusive assessment of our patients with medical, mental health and social needs. We attempt to personalise care plans and understand the individuals beneath the medical labels. We are truly multidisciplinary and an important part of our role is supporting relatives and carers during this period. The work can be challenging due to diagnoses and problems not always being obvious at the outset.

"One of the biggest changes I have seen since qualification is how Dementia is slowly but surely gaining recognition nationally at the highest level. What used to have the terrible label of ‘senility’ is now a fully-fledged medical condition which sits proudly beside cancer and stroke in importance. I am pleased there is a National Strategy for Dementia and there are now clear standards in place for training, care in hospital and we regularly audit our practice. We have dramatically reduced the use of potentially harmful sedative drugs over the years.

"Despite the fact there is currently no cure for Dementia, there are many interventions available to support and alleviate the effects of Dementia. This is an area of very active research so I hope some new effective treatments will not be too far away.

"The NHS is a great institution and we must all do our utmost to safeguard it."

24 August 2018

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