Welsh Ambulance Service invites groups to offices in bid to become even more dementia friendly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Welsh Ambulance Service invites groups to offices in bid to become even more dementia friendly

Welsh Ambulance Service invites groups to offices in bid to become even more dementia friendly

Over the past few months, people living with dementia and their carers visited the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust to comment on the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust’s range of vehicles, and how dementia friendly they were.

They welcomed people from Cardiff, Cwm Taf and Gwent Dementia Service User Review Panels to their Head Quarters in Cwmbran and had a range of vehicles to view and different staff to talk to.

Thanks to Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, this was an amazing opportunity to have people living with dementia provide us with feedback and suggestions on the environment within our vehicles. We discussed the lighting, flooring, noises, colours, and layout of a few different vehicles.

The groups were able to comment on a non-emergency patient transport vehicle, an emergency ambulance and a rapid response vehicle.

The responses gathered from the feedback given will now be taken into consideration by WAST. The Service Users invited were more than happy with what they saw and WAST are developing their techniques to become even more dementia friendly. Many Paramedics, Call Handlers and NEPTS staff are already dementia aware, with others receiving training in the future. The dementia developments coincide with the new falls team who are attending non-urgent calls this winter.

David Holmes, National Fleet Manager for WAST, said: “WAST has built a fleet to be proud of and we are aiming to treat more non-urgent patients in the comfort of their own home.

Having the Dementia Service User Review Panels into our Head Quarters was a brilliant opportunity for us to work with them on how we can keep improving and developing our vehicles to meet the needs of our patients living with Dementia.

“One major point made in the feedback was that they were worried about the rust on the handrails leading into our Emergency Ambulances.

We have subsequently changed the specifications of the materials we use and they will move from painted mild steel to being plastic coated, to avoid them rusting so quickly.”

This news comes after the Trust won the Alzheimer’s Society UK award for Dementia Friendly ‘Organisation of the Year’. Alison Johnstone, Programme Manager for Dementia, added: “The team of staff we had to support the people living with dementia were brilliant. We would like to thank them for showing the groups round our vehicles.

“Becoming dementia friendly is so important and we are really proud of the changes we are making within WAST.

A patient living with dementia being comfortable on a potentially worrying journey to hospital is something which can make the experience so much less stressful for them, their carers and families.”

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