Press release: Southampton doctor wins prestigious national award for dementia care

Dr Beth McCausland

A doctor based at Southampton’s university hospitals has received a prestigious national award for her work in developing and improving care for patients with dementia.

Dr Beth McCausland, a quality improvement fellow in dementia care at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, was recently named foundation doctor of the year by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

She has been based in the medicine for older people (MOP) department at Southampton General Hospital for the past two years under the guidance of Dr Victoria Osman-Hicks, a consultant in older people's mental health and dementia lead in MOP.

As part of her role, Dr McCausland completed an assessment of specialist dementia care wards in acute hospital trusts nationwide before working with colleagues on the development of the UHS dementia strategy for 2018 to 2021.

The document is designed to ensure all staff receive appropriate training to develop the skills, attitudes and behaviours needed for dementia care during hospital admissions.

She then led a project looking at dementia care in different groups – younger, older and under different medical teams – to help focus on the next stages of quality improvement across the organisation.

UHS has around 250 to 300 patients admitted on wards with dementia at any time and, in 2017, opened a pioneering enhanced dementia care ward (G7) – the first of its kind in the UK – to help improve care and the environment for patients receiving medical treatment but who also suffer with complex dementia and delirium. 

“Beth is an exceptional doctor and is fully deserving of this prestigious national honour,” said Dr Osman-Hicks.

“She is kind and empathic with patients and is making a bigger difference by leading research and quality improvement initiatives in medicine for older people and patients with dementia.”

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ judging panel said of Dr McCausland: “She has clear dedication to her patients and developing innovative projects to ensure quality and development in the future.

“Through her education activities she has become a role model for both her peers and medical students and is an asset to her trust.

”She represents the values of a compassionate and empathetic doctor and we look forward to working with her as a future psychiatrist.”

Posted on Monday 28 January 2019