Medway NHS Foundation Trust has become the first acute Trust in the UK to introduce a Namaste care service in a hospital setting.
Namaste care, which focuses on ‘honouring the spirit within’, is an alternative holistic treatment for patients living with advanced dementia or who are actively dying. It includes physical, sensory and emotional activities and interactions with a loving approach, all of which are designed to create a calm environment and give comfort and pleasure to patients while they are being cared for. Its purpose is to help the person feel calm and safe by stimulating their senses and surrounding them with familiar things, for example, playing a patent's favourite music, putting their favourite perfume on them, giving them a drink they enjoy or giving them a hand message or hot towel shave.
Emily Brown is the Trust’s first Namaste Care Practitioner at Medway Maritime Hospital. Her role is to visit wards and provide Namaste care to dementia and end of life (EOL) patients, following a referral from nursing staff, and support family members and members of staff who are caring for the patient too.
The Trust’s decision to introduce the service followed a successful pilot on Tennyson Ward in 2020, which was carried out over a six month period. In 98 per cent of the patients assessed, their mood, pain and overall wellbeing had improved. They were calmer and less likely to wander which meant fewer falls. They ate and drank better meaning their fluid and food intake was good. They were also happy to take their medication.
If you feel your loved one would benefit from the service during their stay with us, please speak to the Nurse in Charge and ask them to make a referral.