‘Stay With Me’ at Hampshire Hospitals

Hospital staff have been praised by campaigners for welcoming loved ones of patients with dementia to stay with them while they are in hospital.

Wednesday 09 December 2015


stay with meHampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is among the first 100 hospital trusts and the first in the south to fully adopt John’s Campaign across all of its Inpatient wards at its hospitals in Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover.

Dementia Nurse Specialist, Rachel Hayden says: “Carers have a crucial role in helping care for their loved one.  Patients with dementia now occupy one in three hospital beds across the UK and it can be difficult for them when they are not in their familiar surroundings.  People with dementia often benefit from their carer’s extra vigilance and intimate understanding of their needs and so we welcome carers at our hospitals.”

Rachel has recently taken part in a short film talking about why the Trust wanted to support the camping’s ‘Stay With Me’ idea and how the staff have made it possible.  Rachel explains:  “Enabling carers to stay on the wards with their loved one has been much easier than we’d expected and our staff have fully embraced it.  We have made a film to help persuade other Trusts to do the same.”

Rachel added: “There is no duty for a carer to stay with the patient – they are often in great need of respite.  It is important that we make sure the carers are looked after because we need them to be fit and well in order to continue caring for the patient once they are discharged.  Some carers welcome the opportunity for a rest, others welcome the opportunity to stay with the patient – our role is to help the carer do what is best for them and the patient.”

John’s Campaign was named after the father of writer Nicci Gerrard, who launched her crusade in The Observer newspaper after his death in November 2014.

In a letter to Hampshire hospitals from Nicci Gerrard and fellow campaigner Julia Jones, it says: “As one of the pioneering 100 hospitals, carers in your hospitals are made welcome. We are profoundly grateful for your open minded and humane approach and we thank the staff that have made this happen.”