Hospital bed push on Worthing prom

MENTAL-HEALTH campaigners pushed a hospital bed from Worthing Pier to George V Avenue on Sunday morning, in an effort to raise awareness for dementia.

Hospital staff, councillors, a local MP and even a crew of firefighters helped haul the bed 1.5 miles along the seafront as part of Dementia Awareness Week.

Shirley Hawkridge has been a ‘Knowing Me’ volunteer for the last six months.

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“I was a general volunteer for about a year and recognised the need for more specialised care for probably one in four of our patients at Worthing Hospital,” she said.

“I recognised the nursing staff didn’t have the time to spend with some of those patients.

“Just holding a hand sometimes is all that’s needed to reassure a patient in what can be a very frightening environment.

“I really enjoy that one-to-one contact and being able to make a difference.”

Dementia nurse specialist Caroline Betsworth said: “We are raising awareness because there are more and more people with dementia.

“The numbers are growing and we are going to see more people with dementia in hospitals.

“We need to make their stay better by raising money that enables us to buy resources that offer meaningful activities to reduce anxieties and promote wellbeing within the hospital.”

County-councillor for North Lancing and Sompting, Lionel Parsons, said: “In this day and age we are finding more and more people are suffering from this dreadful condition, and it is vital we do all we can to support them.”