Thank you to local knitters for their dedication to people with dementia

Wednesday 10th May 2017

Thank you to local knitters for their dedication to people with dementia

In time for dementia awareness week (14-20 May) staff at the Queen Victoria Hospital want to say a special thank you to local knitters on behalf of its patients with dementia.

After asking people at the end of last year to take up their knitting needles and help make ‘twiddlemuffs’, the hospital has been overwhelmed with the response. Twiddlemuffs are double thickness knitted hand muffs which feature buttons, ribbons and other ‘feely’ items which are given to patients with dementia to ‘twiddle’ to help reduce their anxiety.

The twiddlemuffs are just one part of the hospital’s approach to ensuring that people with dementia or memory loss are cared for with dignity and compassion and are given any extra support they need. In its last inspection, the Care Quality Commission highlighted the Queen Victoria Hospital’s dementia practice was ‘outstanding’. It commended the hospital on the individualised care and support it offers patients, as well as a ‘dementia friendly environment.

Jo Davis, dementia lead and a senior theatre nurse, at the Queen Victoria Hospital, said: “We’ve been delighted with the response to our request for twiddlemuffs, meaning that each of our patients with dementia can have their own one to take home with them at the end of their hospital stay. They’re a wonderful source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation for people who need them and have definitely helped patients feel calmer about being in an unfamiliar place. We’re committed to making the experience of patients as positive as possible and this has played an important part in helping us to do that for our patients with dementia.”

Annette Tappin, whose father has severe dementia, said: “I was overwhelmed by the support, help and consideration shown to both of us by the staff in all departments. The ward staff were cheerful, sympathetic and interested. The consultant had time for a smile and a chat and the anaesthetist showed understanding at the same time as attending to a skilled and complex task. We were given a fiddle muff which my dad had with him and used on and off all day. Thank you for that it was really appreciated.”

Pictured: Amanda and Maddison Collins, mother and daughter from East Grinstead, delivering their knitting to Jo Davis, QVH nurse and dementia lead.