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RCN seeking volunteers to help combat delirium

5 Sep 2017

The RCN has today launched a new drive to help nurses spot the signs of delirium in order to improve care and even save lives.

Older man being supported by a care worker

Sponsored by my Improvement Network, the new RCN project will recruit delirium champions from across the health service to help spread the word about the condition.

Delirium is a common and serious medical condition that can affect anyone, especially those who are older or seriously unwell.

Someone with delirium will experience a sudden state of confusion, leaving them feeling disoriented and struggling to pay attention or make decisions.

By detecting the condition early, nurses can prevent patients from falling, becoming more unwell or even dying.

This project, led by the RCN’s Older People’s Forum, aims to spread awareness of delirium symptoms throughout health and care services and improve support for people with the condition.

Nursing staff will be equipped with bespoke materials and a short animated film to help them educate other staff on identifying the symptoms and escalating the situation efficiently.

Dawne Garrett, RCN Professional Lead for Older People and Dementia, said: “Delirium is a very common condition, particularly among older patients and those with dementia.

“Yet more and more nurses are coming forward to say there just isn’t enough awareness of delirium among health care staff.

“All our delirium champions will be equipped with education and development resources to help train as many staff as possible about delirium symptoms.

“We hope to impact real change so that patients can get the care they need as soon as possible, avoiding any further distress or complications.

“I’d like to encourage nursing staff to get involved in this project – it’s a chance to make a real difference to patients in dementia care and much further afield.”