YORK Hospital is supporting a campaign to help patients with dementia who have been admitted to stay.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has signed up to a national movement called John's Campaign, to offer flexible visiting hours for patients with dementia.

Starting this week, the carers and family of patients with dementia will be offered flexibility over when they can visit and will not have to adhere to strict visitor hours.

John's Campaign was founded after the death of Dr John Gerrard in November 2014, by his daughter Nicci, who believes her father, who had Alzheimer's disease, would have benefited greatly if she had been able to stay with him during his time as an inpatient.

Nicci now campaigns nationally for the right of carers of patients with dementia to be able to stay with their loved ones while they are in hospital.

Emma George, assistant director of nursing, and the trust’s lead for dementia care, said: “We recognise the importance of listening to and involving carers when someone with dementia is in hospital as we know it leads to improved experience, quality of care and outcomes.

“We are promoting John’s Campaign with staff across all our hospitals to gain their commitment to making carers feel welcome and supported. A new leaflet is being published, which makes it clear what carers of patients with dementia can expect whilst the patient is in hospital.

“Carers will be offered the flexibility to be with the patient when they are most needed, and that this may often be outside of our regular visiting hours."

Hester Rowell, lead for patient experience said: “We know from feedback we have received that a stay in hospital can be particularly disorientating for a patient with dementia.

"Signing up to John’s Campaign shows we are willing to engage with carers to provide dignified and person-centred care.”

The changes have come as the hospital has brought in extended Christmas visiting hours of 11am to 8pm for all patients.

Ms George said: "All visiting is at the discretion of the nurse in charge...who will make sure that needs of all patients are respected; including dignity, privacy and the need for rest.”