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Leicester NHS Trust rolls out musical instrument scheme for dementia patients

Laura  Barnes
Leicester NHS Trust rolls out musical instrument scheme for dementia patients

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust will be bringing musical instruments into its hospitals on a regular basis to help dementia patents.

It will be working with OPUS to set up the scheme that will see three of the trust’s main sites visited by musicians on a weekly basis over the next two years.

The scheme will provide music and song on various wards as well as a programme to engage patients and staff in music-making by supplying various instruments for them to play with.

The scheme follows the success of previous visits to the wards.
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“The first visit from OPUS was inspiring and overwhelming to say the least,” commented Justine Allen, sister for older people at the trust.

“Patients with dementia who had found it difficult to communicate beforehand began to respond. They clapped, touched, opened their eyes, smiled, tapped and sang.

“It was amazing to be part of and was great to see the positive impact OPUS had on the overall environment, for both staff and visitors to the ward.”

Nick Cutts, director and musician at OPUS, added: “We are delighted to be extending our practice at Leicester’s Hospitals to include work with older patients and those with dementia.

“We know from our experience, and from recent research, that live music-making makes a huge difference within hospitals both to the health and wellbeing of the patients, but also to the visitors and staff.”

It is really quite amazing how music can help dementia sufferers. MI Pro recently spoke with musician Hannah Peel about her new album Awake But Always Dreaming, which is inspired by the experiences she had playing music and singing to her grandmother who suffered from the illness.

“The record was inspired by an experience with my grandma who had fallen into dementia for a very long time, to the point where she didn’t recognise family and things until we started to sing to her.

“All of a sudden she just ‘woke up’ and remembered things and sang along and said things like “I love you” and “Happy Christmas”, whereas on a daily basis she wouldn’t know the difference between who was coming to see her or where she was.”

Read MI Pro’s full interview with Hannah Peel here.

Tags: Hannah Peel , NHS , dementia , university hospitals of leicester , NHS Trust

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