Health minister praises Airedale Hospital staff for dementia services

Wharfedale Observer: Minister Dan Poulter meets patient Hannah Moody during his visit to Airedale Hospital Minister Dan Poulter meets patient Hannah Moody during his visit to Airedale Hospital

A Government health minister said Airedale Hospital was leading the way in showing how to treat older people.

Dr Dan Poulter, accompanied by Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins, visited the hospital at Steeton last Thursday to see how its staff gave elderly patients with dementia the help they needed.

The pair were given a tour of Airedale’s telehealth hub, which uses video links to communicate with patients and means they do not have to attend hospital to be diagnosed or receive medical advice.

The MPs were also taken to ward six where they chatted to patient Hannah Moorby and her daughter, Joan Harrison.

Dr Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said the Govern-ment would be investing an extra £50 million in developing dementia-friendly environments in hospitals and care homes.

“The Government is committed to doing more to better look after older people and provide them with dignity in terms of their care,” he said. “Today I’ve seen some really good examples of how that is being done here.

“In particular, the telemedicine service at the hospital is ensuring older people are being supported in their own homes. It means health warning signs can be picked up by doctors and nurses, who can give advice to people who may be living in very rural communities.

“It’s a better way of caring for people who don’t need to be admitted to hospital.”

Dr Poulter also praised the “fantastic” work being done at Airedale to look after people with dementia.

“As a minister, this is something I can take back to the Department of Health and say ‘we need to learn from Yorkshire’,” he said.

“I’m very proud of the work that is being done here at Airedale. It has some extremely dedicated staff, who are really making a difference to the quality of people’s lives.”

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