Trust supports national dementia initiative and needs your views

Dr John Gerrard with daughter Nicci Gerrard

A national campaign to help carers of people living with dementia  is being backed by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

John’s Campaign is a nationwide initiative seeking improved access to hospital wards for carers.

The campaign was founded in 2014 after the death of Dr John Gerrard. John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and during a five-week stay in his local hospital visits from his family were restricted severely and his condition deteriorated as a result.

To support the campaign the Trust is introducing open visiting hours on some of their hospital wards for family carers, to provide greater flexibility, comfort and reassurance to patients with dementia during their stay.

The Trust plans to pilot open visiting hours initially on their care of the elderly and orthopaedic wards to see what the benefits and disadvantages are for the patient, carer, staff and the organisation before it is rolled out further.

An open event is being held on Monday May 8, 2017 at 3pm in the Education Centre in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Relatives and carers of patients with dementia are encouraged to attend to discuss how hospital visiting restrictions has affected their overall experience, and what access and support they would like to help looking after their relative or friend while they are in hospital.

Simone Anderton, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality and Dementia Lead in the Trust, said:

“It is vital that all our patients feel safe and at ease during their time with us and this is particularly important for patients with dementia.

“A family carer can play a significant role to a dementia patient during their time in hospital, not only do they offer additional support in terms of feeding etc, but they are also able to reassure and explain and repeat as necessary any important information to their loved one.

“We believe family carers of people living with dementia should be welcome to stay on our wards whenever they want to and look forward to meeting with local carers at the Open Event to discuss with them how they can be our partners in care and what extra support we can give them if they need it.”

Places at the open event are limited. To find out more information or express an interest in attending please contact Eleanor Walsh, Patient Involvement Manager, on 01253 955520 /

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