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Evaluating the East Kent Life Story Project Roll out Ian Asquith, Assistant Psychologist Reinhard Guss, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, BPS Dementia.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating the East Kent Life Story Project Roll out Ian Asquith, Assistant Psychologist Reinhard Guss, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, BPS Dementia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating the East Kent Life Story Project Roll out Ian Asquith, Assistant Psychologist Reinhard Guss, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, BPS Dementia Workstream Lead

2 Background- Why life story work? Reminiscence work, including the process of creating a life story book, has been found to be beneficial to people with dementia (Woods et al, 2009). Research has suggested that people with dementia enjoy doing the work, and staff and supporters find it beneficial (McKeown, Clarke and Repper, 2006). Thompson (2011) noted that staff can often be time constrained, lack resources or knowledge to do work. Previous project in 2011 based in Canterbury, but due to its success it was rolled out across East Kent (Rankin & Guss, 2011).

3 Aims of the project Using life story work as a framework for to train student volunteers To provide person centred one to one interaction for people with mental health problems on four older people’s in-patient facilities in East Kent. Conducted a thorough evaluation from staff, volunteer and a cost effectiveness perspective.

4 How the project worked Students would attend four in-patient wards in East Kent to provide the life story based work between September 2011 and May They would attend at the same time each week, and stay for a set period of time (normally 2-3 hours). Wards were informed of times and days the students would attend. The aim was to try to identify people to work with, then attempt to make a book with the information they gave.

5 How was the project managed? Student on Placement “Triage” for minor issues. Filtered major issues to appropriate person Day to day communication with students and wards. Voluntary services Focused on administration references, CRB, Trust ID. Dealt with issues surrounding being a volunteer Clinical Psychologist Reflective practice seminars Liaising with senior management. Troubleshooting with wards.

6 Volunteer recruitment In collaboration with the Trust voluntary services department. University of Kent Psychology Society volunteering evening. Psychology Department Work Experience Scheme

7 Training and continued volunteer support Based on 2011 life story project –Psychology Students from University of Kent –Given three training seminars; What is life story work? what is dementia? Being a volunteer in the NHS. –“reflective seminars” at three weekly intervals –Regular support through with student on placement.

8 Cost effectiveness Books made: 16 (2011: 9) Retention rate: 73% (2011: 44%) Hours contributed: 364 Visits: 162 (2011: 172) Cost per hour: £7.83 Cost per book: £178.01

9 Staff evaluations- quantitative results summary Staff were not completely sure what the project was, and when the students came. Staff who were aware thought it was enjoyable, worthwhile and felt the students were reliable. Most had not seen, read or knew where a life story book was kept. Many staff could not comment on the project.

10 Staff evaluations- qualitative results Communication- poor staff knowledge about the project, mainly from the feeling that they were not told about it. Positive contributions from extra time spent with clients- staff felt that having students on the ward to do this work was beneficial to the clients.

11 Student evaluations Strong feeling that people who took part learnt something from the project. Challenging aspects included making the book, ward environment, not knowing what to talk about, clients challenging behaviour, building relationships and being discharged. Students had plentiful opportunity during the project.

12 Student evaluations Majority of students enjoyed the project, and thought it was worthwhile. Seminars were not overwhelmingly positive. Qualitative results suggested support from members of staff (gradually getting better), negative comments about seminars, poor information, difficulties and positive experiences.

13 Best Practice identified High retention rate (77%) More life story books created. Books and volunteer hours are cost effective. 16/17 students felt the project was worthwhile Internal management of the project through student on placement was successful. More thorough evaluation than in previous years.

14 Lessons learnt Difficulties with ward receiving and disseminating information. Volunteers feeling supported on the wards. Supervision seminars. Pairing of the students Students feeling underprepared. Action plan implemented to address these points

15 Contacts for information

16 References Woods, B., Spector, A. e., Jones, C. A., Orrell, M., & Davis, S. P. (2009). Reminiscence therapy for dementia. The Cochrane Library. McKeown, J., Clarke, A. and Repper, J. (2006) Life story work in health and social care: systematic literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 55, 237 – 247. Rankin, L., & Guss, R. (2011). The life history project. Unpublished KMPT audit. Thompson, R. (2011). Using life story work to enhance care. Nursing Older People, 23(8),


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