Mr Matron leading way on care

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A MALE matron has become the first ever matron for elderly rehabilitation at a borough hospital.

David Dawson is a very rare species within the NHS – a male matron, but he has now branched out even further and is hoping to raise the profile of care of the elderly.

David, 42, said: “I think the fact I am a male matron is actually less significant than the fact that this is the first appointment of a matron for elderly rehabilitation which shows that the Trust acknowledges this as a speciality in its own right.

“I hope to develop the rehabilitation team as a nursing specialism, with expertise required not only in terms of caring for complex frail elderly people, but looking at discharge planning, patient safety, patient experience and delirium/dementia care. The emphasis will be on high quality care that aims to return people to their home environment as quickly and safely as possible.”

Among the measures David hopes to introduce, is a new patient activity programme with Joanne Mackintosh from the established Patient Experience Team bringing trained volunteers on to the ward to sit and share memories with patients, read to them or play games.

“There’s a lot of evidence that if patients are doing activities – even just sitting and talking or doing a jigsaw with someone – they will recover more quickly and that dementia symptoms and challenging behaviour is better managed,” David says.

David, who was born in Newbiggin, first trained with Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust and qualified in 1993, but he has also worked in London at St Mary’s and at NHS Direct.