Butterflies help Blackpool patients living with dementia

Francesca Hall

Francesca Hall with one of the butterflies

Butterflies are helping Blackpool nurses to give compassionate care to patients living with dementia.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust uses the butterfly symbol to identify a patient with either dementia or confusion so that all staff can support and treat that patient appropriately.

The national Butterfly Scheme provides a specific system of care for patients in hospital who are either living with dementia or those who may have confusion due to an alternative reason.

Previously nurses at Blackpool Victoria Hospital made their own butterflies and laminated them to put above a patient’s bed, but now two of the Care of the Elderly Wards have received magnetic butterflies to attach to the bed boards using award money won by dementia champion and Falls Lead Nurse Francesca Hall.

Francesca, who won the Unsung Hero Award at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ Celebrating Success, said: “The magnetic butterflies will make the process of identification easier and the symbols will be very visible so anyone giving care to the patient will be able to immediately see they have cognitive problems.”

“Inappropriate dementia care can result in extended lengths of stays for the patient. Compassionate care helps reduce anxiety, reassures the patient and engenders a calm and welcoming atmosphere.”

The butterfly symbol will not only be on the bed board but it will also be replicated on the handover board, on patient notes and also on care plans.

“It’s vital that people know that a patient has dementia so they can treat and support that person appropriately to ensure the best care possible,” Francesca added. “This is the case for all staff, whether it is a nurse, doctor, ward clerk, porter, whoever the patient may come into contact with.”

The team from Ward 26

The team from Ward 26 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The magnetic butterflies were produced by dementia company Find Memory Care who design products for people with dementia.

Karen Clayton, from Find, said “We are thrilled to be supporting The Butterfly Scheme and Francesca at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.

“Fran’s passion for dementia care is amazing. She works tirelessly to enhance both the care and the environment for patients. The introduction of our magnetic butterflies will make a significant difference to patients on the wards.”

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