Government health minister visits Airedale Hospital

HOSPITAL VISIT: Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson joins the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt on a visit to Airdale Hospital (S)
HOSPITAL VISIT: Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson joins the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt on a visit to Airdale Hospital (S)

PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson joined the Secretary of State for Health, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, to see how Airedale Hospital staff support patients with dementia and long-term conditions.

On their visit, the pair, who were also accompanied by Keighley MP Kris Hopkins, spent time on the Telehealth hub to see how patients can have consultations with health professionals from the comfort of their own home, nursing home or GP surgery via secure video link technology.

They also met with nursing staff who use the equipment to offer a 24 hour service, spoke to patients who benefit from costly trips to hospital, and were given a brief demonstration of the hospital’s new electronic patient administration system.

On ward one, the trio heard how older patients with dementia are benefiting from specially designed crockery and a system where butterfly symbols are included by beds and on the notes of people with dementia.

This helps staff identify them as a dementia patient, so they know they will need extra care and probably help with feeding.

They were also told about the hospital’s dignity room which was set up to help treat patients with compassion and respect by providing them with essential items for free.

Talking about his visit to the Leader Times, Mr Stephenson, who also took part in a round-table discussion while at the hospital, said: “I was delighted to join the Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP on his visit to Airedale Hospital on Monday.

“Many local residents use Airedale Hospital and their services, such as the telemedicine, is in use in a number of Pendle’s GP surgeries and nursing homes.

“I am always impressed by the hard work and dedication of the staff at Airedale and I know the Secretary of State was greatly impressed by his visit.”

And Dr Andrew Catto, medical director of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to show Mr Hunt some of our work which demonstrates real improvements in care for our patients — particularly for those with dementia and long-term conditions.”