To support Dementia Action Week healthcare assistant, Pauline Hulbert tells us more about her role caring for patients within our mental health services
My name is Pauline Hulbert and I have worked as a healthcare assistant within Northumbria Healthcare mental health services for 23 years.
Currently, I work in the Mental Health Services for Older People Liaison Team at North Tyneside General Hospital. I am the only healthcare assistant within the team but receive great support from my colleagues which include specialist older persons mental health nurses, psychiatrists and the wider multi-disciplinary team including our medical ward colleagues. I have been working within this department for six years now and have always felt really valued.
My role involves assisting with the care and treatment of patients on the acute medical wards at North Tyneside General Hospital who are aged 65 and over and have co-morbid mental health and physical health issues. This can involve caring for patients with various conditions including dementia, depression and delirium. I also provide psychological wellbeing to patients to help them manage their own recovery.
Recently, I completed a course which allows me to deliver Cognitive Stimulation Therapy to patients. This is a psychological therapy specifically for patients who are suffering from dementia which helps to stimulate and engage them, whilst providing an optimal learning environment and social benefits which support their wellbeing.
With the support of my colleagues, I am involved in a pilot quality improvement project to deliver Cognitive Stimulation Therapy on ward 23 at North Tyneside General Hospital. We began this project in March 2020 but it was unfortunately postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now that things are starting to improve from a Covid-19 perspective, we are hoping to restart this project within the next few weeks.
The most enjoyable aspect of my role is providing wellbeing support to patients and being able to see the positive impact this has on patients, particularly for those who have not been able to have visitors due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Covid-19 has been a challenge for all NHS staff. However, we have all pulled together to provide the best service we can. Team work and collaboration are very import to my role and I’m very proud to be part of the Northumbria Healthcare family, particularly during these challenging times.