Nurses with dementia should be allowed to continue working

The Royal College of Nursing has said Nurses who have dementia should be supported to continue their work for as long as they are able.

The nurse who proposed the idea said reasonable adjustments could be made to the job for colleagues with dementia and the decision was taken in a vote at the Royal College of Nursing’s 2017 Annual Congress in Liverpool.

A dementia nurse from London, Jo James, suggested developing an RCN strategy for supporting colleagues with the condition. She told the conference: “A dementia diagnosis is likely to signal the end of a nurse’s professional life. “In a single moment they will go from nurse to patient, regardless of the severity of their dementia or how it’s affecting them. We have robust laws in place against discrimination – but dementia is often seen as the exception to the rule and stigmatised.”

An RCN steward from Coventry and Warwickshire, Phil Noyes, said he had represented a number of people with memory problems. He said: “If we address this, we allow people to continue working for as long as they are able – and that’s the limit point.”

Some Nurses have raised concerns however arguing that it could put patients at risk.