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Cathcart And Winn Introduces Support Scheme For Clients With Dementia

4 months ago

17th January, 2022 15h00

Caring staff at Cathcart and Winn veterinary centres in Surrey and Hampshire have introduced new practices and procedures to help animal lovers living with dementia.

Vets, veterinary nurses and support staff at Linnaeus-owned Cathcart and Winn’s animal hospital in Farnham and its veterinary centre in Aldershot have all been involved in preparing to deliver this innovative approach to support clients living with the many varying symptoms of dementia.

Cathcart and Winn client care manager Charlie Hart is implementing the initiative, which has involved taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative, and believes it will evolve and develop as staff learn from, and share, their experiences.

Charlie said: “As a caring team, we want to provide the best service possible to all our clients and want everyone to feel supported and understood, so we have become Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends.

“The main aim of this initiative is to learn more about dementia and how it affects people to give us a better understanding to improve the client care we give.

“Staff have now completed several Dementia Friends online videos and information sessions focused on the impact dementia can have on people, and our aim is to take further steps to have a real and meaningful impact for people affected.

“The reception team are our first point of contact with clients and we have had extensive discussions about how to welcome and support people with dementia. New staff members also complete the Dementia Friends sessions and wear the charity-made badge based on small Forget-Me-Not flowers.

“We will be making notes on accounts for owners who have requested to have printed receipts as standard, so they have a permanent record of dates and costs, and in situations where clients prefer to read items and amounts rather than discussing them verbally.

“We have also changed the way we complete some of our consultations, asking clients if they would like a summary on their pet’s treatment and medication to be in written form for them to take home.

“We also offer calls or communication with family members, should the client want us to share this information with another person.

“The ongoing aim is to discuss our progress at regular practice meetings to see whether staff have found anything specifically helpful for clients or have learned any new information from relevant courses they have completed.

“I’m very keen and committed to support and guide them in these discussions and in determining any decisions made as a result.

“I’ll keep everyone informed of upcoming learning events to help with our continuous development and training with the most up to date information.

“We have set up an in-house ‘Dementia Friends’ noticeboard for internal learning and development to encourage team members to continue to develop their knowledge of how they can help and to inspire everyone to become Dementia Friends.”

Jo Malyon, Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly development manager, said: “Since Alzheimer’s Society launched Dementia friends in 2013, three-and-a-half million people have joined across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to create change in their communities.

“We’re delighted to see the team at Cathcart and Winn getting on board, too.

“With more people taking action in the shops, workplaces, schools and homes at the heart of our communities we are making sure people with dementia are understood, included and respected.

“We need to create a dementia-friendly society so people affected by dementia feel understood and included.”

To find out more information about Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friend, visit

For more information about Cathcart and Winn, visit or search for Cathcart and Winn Vets on social media.

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