Inaugural conference ignites a golden glow amongst delegates

The nursing conference launched the Gold Standard, which is a charter that sets out 14 standards that patients should expect to receive while they are being cared for, across all care settings in Waltham Forest.

The Gold Standard was initially developed in 2014 through feedback from patients, their carers, their families and with hospital staff at Whipps Cross Hospital.

 TV presenter and Vice President of the Patients Association Angela Rippon OBE chaired the conference and was also the key note speaker. Angela became involved in promoting excellence in dementia care after caring for her mother. Angela emphasised the importance of standards of care and treating patients with the dignity and respect that they deserve and are fundamental to the Gold Standard.

 Delegates also heard talks from NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group, the Patient Association, Barts Health NHS Trust staff from Whipps Cross hospital, Healthwatch Waltham Forest and Leytonstone College.

Students from the college shared their experiences of being part of the Gold Standard working on the wards at Whipps Cross Hospital and how this is already influencing their knowledge of dementia and choice of career with some now choosing to train in nursing and pharmacy. There was also an emotive and creative theatre performance based on caring for dementia patients by the acclaimed writer and author Susannah Howard called “Living Words”.

 Helen Davenport, Director of Nursing, Quality and Governance at NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group, emphasised the importance of nurses aligning the Gold Standard to the national nursing strategy - Dignity and Compassion in Care the 6Cs that are the enduring values and behaviours that underpin compassion in practice and are defined as: care, compassion, courage, communication, competence and commitment.

 Helen said: “We have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback that we have received during and following the conference. Attendees said they found the presentations and workshops inspiring and the theatre piece was particularly captivating because caring for dementia patients is close to the hearts of so many nurses in elderly care.

“We are delighted to be taking the Gold Standard out to all care settings in Waltham Forest. I believe that it will significantly improve the experience and quality of care for all patients who are being cared for across Waltham Forest and further afield. We are supporting and empowering nurses with the knowledge and resources to begin implementing the Gold Standard in their place of work and this has been achieved.

Heather Eardley, Director of Development at The Patients Association, said:

“It was a privilege to be involved in such a successful event. The highlight of the conference was meeting likeminded healthcare professionals who are passionate about improving care for elderly patients.

 “This initiative is the result of listening to patients and their families together with other organisations we have developed a project which we hope can be used in other hospitals, community and care homes as a way of improving care for older people. It is a simple approach which emphasises the importance of good communication between patients, families and staff”.