UK’s first dementia-friendly ambulances launch

Travelling to hospital in an ambulance can be a worrying time for anyone, but it can be extra stressful and confusing for a person with dementia.

UK’s first dementia-friendly ambulances launch

We’re thrilled to hear that the University of Northampton’s Dementia Centre has teamed up with the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and updated four emergency vehicles to help patients with dementia feel less frightened when travelling.

The newly redesigned ambulances, which are based in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, include scenic window covers for the patient. The images are calming and a good talking point.

The ambulances can also play music from different decades to help the patient have more positive associations with the vehicles.

Patients also have access to twiddlemuffs that they can hold and fiddle with to help distract them.

EMAS responds to emergency calls from 43,000 patients living with dementia each year.

Front-line staff have also received dementia-friendly training. They now have guides including tips on making the most of the changes in the ambulance. There is also prompts on how they can change their communication style with the patient and ideas for conversation starters.

Recently there has been a surge in businesses within all sorts of industries educating themselves in order to become more dementia-friendly. It’s great to see people become more aware of the condition.

The redesigned ambulances are a fantastic idea and key to keeping a patient with the condition calm and comfortable. We hope to see this idea rolled out across the rest of England and Wales.