Lost patient prompts changes at Swandean

New signs at Swandean in Worthing have been warmly welcomed
New signs at Swandean in Worthing have been warmly welcomed

Signposting at Swandean has been improved, following a conversation with a patient.

Dr Fiona Pipon-Young, a clinical psychologist with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, initiated the project.

Working in partnership with the Worthing Town Cryers, the trust has improved its signposting to help people with dementia visiting Swandean, off Arundel Road, Worthing.

Dr Pipon-Young said: “The issues for people with dementia accessing services on this site were stressed to me when I found the client I was meeting for my next appointment lost in the corridor.

“She was unable to see and read the signposting to get back to reception.

“This highlighted a significant flaw in our services for people with dementia accessing our services, as there was no sign or any indication of where the reception area was.

“Following this, I decided to seek the advice from those experts in the challenges of managing day-to-day with dementia, and I consequently approached Alzheimer’s Society Worthing Town Cryers.”

Formed in 2013, Worthing Town Cryers is a group of people living well with dementia who meet on a regular basis.

The Alzheimer’s Society group, based at the charity’s coastal office in Stone Lane, Worthing, continues to be involved in a number of projects, for example with Worthing’s Dementia Action Alliance and delivering dementia awareness sessions to schools.

Dr Pipon-Young added: “Through meeting with the Town Cryers, we identified lots of opportunity for improvement across our services.

“We updated our appointment letters to include directions, a map and photographs, as well as a contact telephone number for the day of the appointment.

“We implemented designated visitor parking bays and Dementia Friends information sessions for all our staff. A very visible change across the site is our updated signs and maps that help people find their way much more easily. This has a huge benefit to all visitors, not just those living with dementia.”

“The involvement of the Worthing Town Cryers and their input and enthusiasm throughout the project has been invaluable. Recently, I met with someone in clinic who reflected ‘there was no need for the map you sent to me with my appointment letter – the site is very clearly signposted’.

“For me, this project has highlighted the vital role service users and patients play in informing our services and making them fit for purpose.”