Published on: 21 February 2024

A day packed with information has been lined up by a team to help their NHS colleagues learn how to help those facing conditions which impact mood and mind.

The Dementia and Delirium Outreach Team (DDOT) is based Sunderland Royal Hospital, helping support inpatients with those conditions through rehabilitation and recovery activities in the Alexandra Centre and out on the wards.

Wednesday, March 13, will mark World Delirium Awareness Day. The annual campaign aims to explain the condition has on patients, their loved ones and healthcare.

It also works to explain the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and help share research, guidelines and the best way of helping those with delirium.

On Friday, March 15, the Trust will host a Delirium and Dementia Matters Symposium. This is open to those across STSFT who work with patients with either condition or have an 

It will also welcome those from across other NHS trusts in the region.

The day is Continuous Personal Development (CPD) and Royal College of Physicians accredited.

For Registered Nurses, it will contribute towards their revalidation and for staff within the Trust, it will cover their level 2 dementia competency. 

Hosted at the Education Centre at Sunderland Royal Hospital, the first session will start at 9am, with the morning to feature a series of lectures. 

These will look at the hospital view of delirium and how a hospital environment can have an impact, a psychiatrist’s outlook on it, the link between dementia and delirium and the patient’s experience.

They will be led by the Trust’s older person’s specialists alongside guest from Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

The afternoon will have four interactive workshops. These will include a look at the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), a sensory experience session and 4AT, the bedside scale used to help assess if someone has delirium, and recognising acute delirium as part of your routine (RADAR).

Sunderland Fans Museum will also speak about its work with the Trust and how it is helping people with dementia by sparking conversations about their memories of football.

Representatives from the Essence Service, Age UK and Sunderland Carers Centre will have information stands during the day, which will end at around 4pm.

The event will feature the artwork created by the winners of the Dementia and Delirium: Remembering ‘Me’ Through Art competition launched by DDOT. This is open to three age categories, with the deadline of Monday, February 26 - click here for all the details.

The team is also welcoming academic posters relevant to the care of older people, delirium and dementia from colleagues and others who work for the NHS. Anyone who would like to submit their poster can email

Chris Cairns, the Trust’s Older Person’s Nurse Consultant, will open the even with an introduction.

He said:

"We’re really looking forward to welcoming our colleagues from our Trust and opening our doors to others who work elsewhere in the NHS to this event.

"The team has put together an interesting and varied day of talks and activities.

"We hope it gives those we work alongside and others from across the region lots of insight into what we can do to help our patients who have dementia or delirium live well or recover and support their loved ones too."

Also referred to as sudden confusion, delirium can have many causes, including a stroke, low blood sugar level, a head injury, alcohol poisoning and a urinary tract infection (UTI). Immediate medical help should be sought for anyone showing symptoms.

Symptoms can include people who may not be able to think or speak clearly or quickly, not know where they are, struggle to pay attention or remember things or see or hear things which are not there.

Internal staff can book a place via ESR by clicking here.

External staff can book by emailing providing their name, role and date and time of the course.