‘The consultant took time to get to know us – he gained our trust’

AGNES Houston is a qualified nurse who has cared for dementia patients in hospital during the course of her work.

She also has personal experience of dementia, having been diagnosed with the illness six years ago, as well as losing her father to the condition.

The 59-year-old nurse from Coatbridge also cares for her husband, Alan, who suffers from dementia.

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“My husband Alan recently had hip replacement surgery,” she said. “At one point we were kept waiting for three hours, with no reason why.”

She said that after one appointment they left the hospital “feeling unsatisfied and wanting”.

However, she said she had begun to campaign for the role of dementia champions after a later appointment, where the medics appeared to have received specialist training in caring for patients affected by dementia.

She said: “The reception staff appeared to know why Alan was there and were friendly. They had been trained to cope.

“The consultant, called Alan by name, introduced himself and took time to get to know us as a family.”

She added: “This felt personal – he gained our trust.”