John’s Campaign campaigns for extended visiting rights for the family carers of patients with dementia in hospitals throughout the UK, and was founded on 30 November, 2014 by the writers Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones.
In February 2014 Dr John Gerrard, aged 86, spent five weeks in hospital. He had Alzheimer’s Disease and his family’s visiting time was severely restricted because of a combination of normal visiting hours and an infectious outbreak. His condition deteriorated dramatically while he was in hospital; having previously been living well with Alzheimer’s he became ‘skeletal, incontinent, immobile, and incoherent’ and needed 24-hour care. He died in November 2014.
His family believe that the lack of contact with familiar people and of the individual attention they would have given him contributed significantly to his deterioration. In November 2014, after her father’s death, Nicci Gerrard wrote a well-received newspaper article on the subject. An edition of the newspaper printed a week later subsequently featured several supportive letters and the campaign developed thereafter.
In March 2016 it was announced that the campaign had been endorsed by the NHS.
Support for carers
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) recognises that carers have a unique understanding of the needs of a person in their care. All decisions we take about care from diagnosis to the end of life will be guided by what our patients want, working together with their families and carers.
What does this mean for carers?
Following assessment and where deemed appropriate, BTHFT offers open access visiting to support carers who wish to stay with the person they care for. This includes the option of staying overnight. Facilities to support this will vary across the organisation, however we will make attempts for this to happen in all areas.
Wards 29 and 31 have a shared facility for carers who wish to stay overnight. It offers a quiet space for carers away from the ward with refreshment facilities.
Visiting Bradford Teaching Hospitals
We are doing everything possible to keep our patients and visitors safe. We have reviewed our visiting rules in light of the staged easing of the national lockdown, and the following restrictions are now in place:
Visiting for inpatients in our hospitals for over 14 days will commence from March 29, 2021 on GREEN wards.
All other patients: we will only allow visits under the following exceptional circumstances:
Two parents or carers can swap in and out for visits/stays once every 24 hours.
Labour Ward and Birth Centre
A birth partner can stay for the duration of labour. This person is not interchangeable.
M3 patients and M4 patients can have one-hour visits at a pre-arranged time between 1-5pm (except on the day of discharge) from one dedicated person, the birth partner.
M4 patients who have been in hospital for more than three days can have two-hour visits at pre-arranged times (except on the day of discharge) from either one dedicated person (the birth partner) or one nominated person aged over 16.
Women are allowed to have one adult with them at all scans. This person should be the birthing partner or from the same household or bubble.
AED department supportive visits
One visitor will be allowed to be present where the patient is being treated in the resuscitation area or the High Dependency Unit section of the Accident and Emergency department.
End-of-life supportive visits
Previously, if the patient was nearing the end of life, we allowed one-to-two visitors only. However, if the patient has children aged 16 or over, they may also visit, providing there are no more than two visitors at any one time.
BTHFT will continue to support difficult conversations and allow carers to attend where the patient needs physical or cognitive support – with restrictions in place on the length of visit and the number of visitors allowed.
The Trust has put in place a number of resources to support family members/visitors unable to visit patients:
- Our Relatives’ Telephone Information Line takes calls for some of our wards. Please contact the ward or relatives’ line to see if the clinical area in question is using this service. Please call 01274 272747 from 8:15am to 5:30pm
- Thinking of you is a dedicated email address for loved ones to send letters via email to our patients: ThinkingOfYou@bthft.nhs.uk
- Many wards have video calling in place and may be able to assist with video calls when there is no visiting
- We have a dedicated patient property team work who can accept and take belongings to inpatients from 7:30am to 6:30pm. Please see below for more information. Please do not bring in too much and hot, fresh or perishable foodstuffs are not permitted.
Last edited 19/07/2021
Please note: Visitors to Bradford Teaching Hospitals under exceptional circumstances and people attending outpatients’ appointments MUST still wear a face mask at all times to protect themselves and others from coronavirus. Although the rules have been relaxed outside our hospitals, BTHFT staff are still wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines to protect patients, visitors and each other. Please follow their lead. It is important masks and face coverings are worn safely. For more information, please watch this short video.
Anyone showing any symptoms of coronavirus should not visit. If you are in a high risk category i.e. you have an underlying health condition that puts you at risk of COVID-19, you should also not visit. For more information on our current visiting policy, please click here.
Involvement in care decisions and planning
Carers provide vital supporting to our patients who have a dementia, and we recognise the expertise and value they bring to patients’ care and treatment. We will strive to address both the needs of the patient and carer during the time a patient with dementia is in our care.
Carers will be encouraged to discuss any problems or concerns they identify with the ward team.
- Carers will be provided with information and advice so that they can make informed choices about how they can access support
- Staff are trained to listen, advise and provide sensitive, informal emotional support
- Staff can refer carers to community support services for information and advice on being a carer, including any entitled benefits.
- Staff will support carers who wish to take respite following an admission of the person they care for.
- Carers will be given the opportunity to discuss and be involved in decisions made around discharge
- Working closely with community services we will, where possible, ensure that all needs of the patients and carers are met prior to discharge
How will I ensure this will happen?
- Carers are encouraged to discuss their needs and expectations on admission and at regular intervals when appropriate
- BTHFT has a shared care record where details of carer discussions and plans of care can be recorded
- Carers will be provided with a carer’s passport on identification. It gives carers agreed access to the ward, which can be shown to staff if needed.
- At BTHFT we have a separate Dementia Strategy which can provide you with more detailed information on our promise to improve care and experience for people living with a dementia
- John’s Campaign also has an external website.