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Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust's Dementia Lead Honoured with Award

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The nurse who is supporting a project to improve services for people with dementia within Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s dementia services has been honoured with a prestigious award, given in memory of a dementia activist.

Christina Hulse, Dementia Lead at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, was presented with the 2015 Hennell Award at the University of Worcester this month.

The award is given in memory of Brian Hennell, a dementia activist who lived with the condition for four years before his death in 2013. His wife, June, has sponsored ‘The Hennell Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dementia Care’ for the last two years. It is open to everyone who has attended a course facilitated by the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester and celebrates the achievements of an individual or team who have shown their ability to implement positive change for people living with dementia.

Christina was selected as the recipient for her work on falls and dementia, carried out as part of the dementia leadership course, delivered by ADS.

“This has given me a great insight into changing practice and as a result I have started to help make changes within my work role,” she said. “I have been seconded as Dementia Lead for Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust where I really love my work, although it is sometimes challenging to change people's views and understanding around dementia”.

“As a Trust we are making changes in the way we work. As part of our yearly CQUIN we have adapted the Dementia Charter Mark audit developed by Royal United Hospital, Bath, and will be auditing 12 wards/units across the Trust. This is a massive piece of work but so enjoyable. Supported by Associate Director of Nursing Frances Clarke, and colleagues, a baseline audit has already completed and we are sincerely hoping that this audit will improve our care standards throughout and support carers and patients to live well with dementia.”

Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the Association for Dementia Studies, added: “We hear such positive stories of people working hard to make a real difference to the lives of those affected by dementia. The Hennell Award provides an opportunity to celebrate this. Brian was an inspirational figure who lived well with dementia and helped others to do so, and through this award we are honouring his legacy by highlighting and celebrating the work of our students who have a positive impact on those living with the condition.”

The Judging Panel was led by June Hennell and also included Robbie Duncan. Robbie and June are part of the ADS Link Group whose members are people with lived experience of dementia who support students, professionals and researchers to understand dementia.

The judges also awarded one ‘Highly Commended’ to Janet Chand and team at the Heantun/Accord Group in Bilston and ‘Commended’ certificates to Natalie Allcock, Managing Director of Valuing Individual People at Redditch; Michelle Done, Care Manager at Bluebird Care in Bromsgrove; Joanne Cartmell, a senior Physiotherapist at Willow House dementia-friendly unit, part of the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust.