says: “Now I’ve got something to do and be excited about, so that I don’t have to think about my health condition.” The team is also experimenting with other uses of VR to improve patient experience, recently making a film for people who need a PET scan (a scan which uses radioactive tracing to diagnose dementia and other conditions). Patients can pop on a headset and watch a short film shot from the perspective of someone going into the scanner, to get an idea of what the experience might be like before it happens.
“We found that this can really help apprehensive patients,” Jo explains.
The great work done so far was recognised at the 2019 National Dementia Care Awards, where judges praised the “unique, innovative and creative” partnership between the Trust and Central, and commended them for breaking “a typically medical and process- heavy system to embrace something new, exciting and impactful which affects lives through joy”.
“There’s so much more we can do with the project,” Jo says. “That’s what makes it so exciting.”
While the early stages of this project have focused on filming in locations around London, the aim is to build a library of footage shot by staff and students on their holidays – a tropical beach, the Scottish Highlands and an Austrian forest are all on the agenda.
There’s also the introduction of VR films on the Auchi acute dialysis ward at Hammersmith Hospital, for people with dementia who are on dialysis. This will build on some fascinating work that’s already happened.
“Students and Auchi patients were paired to write films together, which we later premiered both on the ward and at Central,” Nicola explains. “This created a real buzz and that’s been great for patients and staff – the VR project will help develop and grow this.”
“I’m delighted with the way this project is going,” Jo says. “I’m really looking forward to continuing to build this partnership.”
Dementia clinical nurse specialist Natascha Teszner and Central drama student Pirin Wannavalee review VR videos
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To learn more about this project, contact Jo James at firstname.lastname@example.org
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