Trust team shortlisted for mental health innovation award

A project helping to improve the health and wellbeing of older patients has been shortlisted for a prestigious HSJ award.

The intergenerational project – which has been shortlisted in the mental health innovation category - aims to show that spending time with children helps our older patients, many of who have dementia, feel happier and less lonely during their time in hospital.

The project is also beneficial for the children themselves, who are helped by interacting with older generations and also coming into a hospital environment which they may initially be apprehensive about.

The 12-month intergenerational project began in August 2018, funded by Imperial Health Charity, and is believed to be the first active intergenerational activities project to be carried out within an acute hospital setting.

Since the programme began, 31 intergeneration sessions have taken place and have included activities such as drama, poetry, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, all of which are delivered by local organisations. Over 100 of our patients have been involved in the sessions.

Dr Charlotte Lance-Taylor, who is leading the project with the Trust’s dementia team, said: “We are so excited to be shortlisted for this award. We are proud of the work we’ve done to help our older patients have a more stimulating and less socially isolating stay in our hospitals.

“The changes in our patients and the growing confidence of the children who have been visiting has also been incredible to see.”

Funding for a second year of the intergenerational project has been secured thanks to a grant from Imperial Health Charity. You can find out more about the charity’s work here.

The winner will be announced at the HSJ awards on Wednesday 6 November 2019.