Held to celebrate World Alzheimer’s Day, the awards are a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council.
They mark the achievements of those making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia and their families. There are 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and it is estimated that 20,000 people every year will be diagnosed by 2020.
Going to theatre for surgery is a terrifying experience for patients with dementia, often the stress and distress before and after can have a significant impact on patients recovery and outcomes.
The ‘Theatre Buddy’ project affords patients the opportunity to have a relative, carer or friend accompanying them to theatre, be present in the anaesthetic room until they go to sleep and be the first person they see in the recovery room.
Patients are less stressed in theatre and returning to the ward. Rehabilitation can start earlier; length of hospital stay is reduced as is the need for supportive medication.
Gillian McAuley, chief nurse, said: “We are thrilled to be named as winners in Scotland’s Dementia Awards for Best Hospital Care Initiative, we know Theatre Buddy has made such a difference to the lives of patients and carers and we hope other boards adopt this approach.”