NHS Forth Valley Backs John’s Campaign to Support Patients with Dementia

NHS Forth Valley has become the first health board in Scotland to support a campaign to help people with dementia in all its hospitals. John’s Campaign is a scheme where patients with dementia stay in the company of carers in their wards so they can be surrounded by familiar faces.

Not only will this apply in the acute hospital Forth Valley Royal, but also in the four community hospitals in Falkirk, Stirling, Bo’ness and Clackmannanshire.

The initiative was founded by Nicci Gerrard and her friend Julia Jones, after Nicci’s father Dr John Gerrard died at the age of 86 in 2014 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease whilst in his 70s.

The decision to lend support has been welcomed by Julia Jones. She said: “I’m really pleased that NHS Forth Valley has taken the decision to sign up to John’s Campaign. It is the first health board in Scotland to make this commitment across all its hospitals and it’s really important that people with dementia and their carers get equal treatment wherever they are.

“The point of John’s Campaign is that the carer should be welcomed whenever a patient needs them to hold their hand and calm them.”

NHS Forth Valley Director of Nursing, Professor Angela Wallace added: “We are pleased to be part of this innovative and important campaign. We have a person centred approach to visiting, which ensures flexibility to suit the needs of the individual and family, friends and carers are encouraged to visit throughout a patient’s stay. Every request is assessed on an individual basis.”

Across NHS Forth Valley carers of people with dementia are supported in a number of ways. This includes the Butterfly Scheme which identifies patients who need support because of dementia and using dementia champions, specially-trained staff who encourage others to learn about the condition.