Following on from the successful Vulnerable Adults Conference held in October 2011, a second conference has been held to raise the awareness of the specific needs vulnerable patients might have when admitted to Noble’s Hospital. The conference was a collaboration between patient representatives and staff, all of whom are passionate about improving the care of vulnerable patients at Noble’s Hospital.
Minster for Health, David Anderson MHK said:
'This conference follows on from previous work when practitioners were asked what difficulties they had experienced when caring for vulnerable adults within the busy environment of an acute hospital setting such as Noble’s Hospital. It became clear to us that there was a gap in understanding the additional and specific needs which vulnerable patients might have, in addition to the problems which brought them into hospital, and we are seeking to address this by providing further training for all staff, which we hope will make a real difference to the care received by our patients.'
Bev Critchlow, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies said:
'This second Vulnerable Adults Conference is a terrific opportunity to expand the understanding of the needs which vulnerable patients have whilst receiving care at Noble’s Hospital. This may include; people with learning disabilities and people with an enduring mental health problem being cared for within an acute hospital setting. Clearly, there is a great need for this type of information to be shared by our staff as the first conference was fully booked within five days of being advertised.'
Speaking after the conference, Cathie Quine, Senior Nurse and Chair of the Vulnerable Adult Conference said:
'We have been really lucky to have a rich diversity of speakers with a wealth of knowledge. The speakers we have heard today are not only Health and Social Care Professionals but Patient and Public Representatives and Carers, who shared with us their personal viewpoint and emphasised how an integrated approach can help deliver the best care. It was evident from the wide range of professionals that were in the audience, that something that we all share in common, is a deep commitment to raising the quality of care for vulnerable adults.'
In addition to organising the second conference, the group has established a ‘Champions Network’ across Noble’s Hospital. The Champions Network is a group of registered nurses and midwives who have taken on additional responsibilities to ensure that vulnerable adults in their wards receive optimum care. The champions have undergone specific training in aspects related to the care of vulnerable adults within an acute hospital setting and have already started sharing their knowledge with their colleagues.