* Alison Johnstone, Patient Experience & Community
Involvement Manager, holds up the Welsh
Ambulance Service’s Promises to Older People.
THE WELSH Ambulance Service has launched a list of promises to older people who use its services.
Over the last few months members of the Trust’s Patient Experience and Community Involvement team have engaged with hundreds of older people to find out how they would like to be treated.
There are over 800,000 people in Wales aged 60 or over, which accounts for more than a quarter of our population.
This is expected to rise to over one million people in the next 20 years.
‘Our Promises to Older People’ was launched to coincide with International Day of Older Persons and includes pledges to treat older people with dignity and respect, provide good information and communication if a patient has sensory loss and to recognise the signs of people with dementia.
The Trust was recently shortlisted in the final of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Awards for its work to help patients with dementia in the Swansea area.
Claire Bevan, Executive Director of Quality, Safety and Patient Experience for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said that the promises will help the Trust to focus on the individual care needs of older people across Wales.
She said: “We know that a high number of older people use our services regularly, whether calling 999 in a medical emergency or using our Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service for hospital appointments.
“We want to make sure that the services we provide meet individual needs of older people and to ensure that they have a good experience when in our care.
“Our Promises to Older People are important to us, and we would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation for their contribution to inform the development of Our Promises for Older People.”
The list of promises has been hailed as an example of good practice by Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira.
She said: “‘Our Promises to Older People’ is an excellent example of how to communicate with older people and their families in a way that is both meaningful and relevant.
“Setting out these commitments in such an accessible format, with a strong focus on values and outcomes, makes clear the high standards older people have a right to expect when accessing services provided by the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
“I have written to the Cabinet Minister for Health to highlight ‘Our Promises to Older People’ as an example of good practice and hope that other service providers across Wales will soon adopt similar approaches to communicate with those who use and rely upon their services.”