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Watching England play is good for your mind and body

“Sport unites communities and generations, it stirs the soul and can reawaken powerful emotions.”

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World Cup
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Watching England play at the world cup is good for your mind and body, says a leading NHS doctor.

It’s a claim that might sound far-fetched to many England fans as they gear up to watch the team’s semi-final clash with Croatia next week, but a senior doctor has claimed that watching football can be good for mental wellbeing.

The NHS director has said that for older people in particular there are clear benefits from watching classic football matches like England’s 1966 world cup final victory, including keeping the brain active and stimulating memories. Several members of the nation’s golden generation of 1966 have experienced dementia, with winners Nobby Stiles and Martin Peters currently living with the condition.

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Improved mental health and wellbeing.

The physical benefits of playing football and other sports are well-known, but as the World Cup knock-out phase lifts off, the NHS’ leading dementia expert is encouraging older people, particularly anyone with dementia, to watch replays of sporting events as a way of improving mental health and wellbeing.

NHS England Clinical Director for Dementia, Alistair Burns, said: “Although fans may not feel it this week, football can be good for your nerves.  The beautiful game really can help your mind and body.

“As well as being great physical exercise, there is a positive link between watching classic football matches and keeping the mind active. For people in old age and dealing with dementia, rewatching matches can rekindle past memories, connect people with their past and keep the brain active.

“Johann Cruyff was right when he said that football is a game you play with your mind, and sport of any kind has a unique power to keep the brain going.”

NHS England’s director for dementia says that the power of sport can stimulate emotion which can be revived many years after the event. Emotional memory, which is one of two main types of memory in the human brain, can be more powerful than memory for personal events, so as people in later life relive exciting or tense moments, this can stimulate memories, potentially strengthening brain activity.

There is considerable overlap between the experience of people living with types of dementia and mental ill health.

Sports unites communities and generations.

Across the UK, 850,000 people are estimated to live with dementia, while mental ill health affects almost eight million people aged over 55. A survey last year from Age UK showed that conditions like depression and anxiety affect over half of people aged over 55 – nearly eight million people – with one in five of these people saying that their condition deteriorates as they get older.

Tony Jameson-Allen, Co-founder of Sporting Memories, said: “Be it Kenneth Wolstenholme’s iconic commentary as Sir Geoff Hurst scored his hat trick, Nobby Stiles doing a jig of delight or Bobby Moore being hoisted onto the team’s shoulders holding aloft the Jules Rimet Trophy, these great moments can bring back wonderful, positive memories, that can be used to unite generations to tackle three of the biggest challenges facing an ageing population; dementia, depression and loneliness.”

“Sport unites communities and generations, it stirs the soul and can reawaken powerful emotions. Every week we witness the positive impact recalling golden moments of great sporting moments has on the physical and mental wellbeing our group members, many of whom live with dementia.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “Sport means a lot to many people in our society & that doesn’t have to change as we age. Whether it’s playing walking football or engaging in a more traditional activity such as bowls or swimming, there are lots of ways in which older people can continue to be ‘sporty’ – doing themselves no end of mental and physical good as a result.

“Times like this weekend, when many of us of all ages will be glued to the TV watching England at the World Cup create a positive atmosphere – we hope! – and a sense of us all being involved in something that’s bigger than ourselves. That’s a tonic for everyone, especially perhaps for older people whose opportunities to get out & engage with others are less frequent than they used to be, or than they’d ideally like.”

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Clinical Care

Hourly rounding ‘may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care’, finds study

Hourly rounding places an emphasis on ‘tick box’ care.

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Nurse with patient in bed

Hourly rounding made a minor contribution, if at all, to the way nurses engage with patients.

A new report by researchers at King’s College London has found that the widespread practice of hourly or intentional rounding, may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care to patients.

The report also found that rounding makes a minor contribution, if at all, to the way nurses engage with patients.

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Hourly or intentional rounding involves standardised regular checks with individual patients at set intervals and was introduced in hospitals in England in 2013, with 97% of NHS acute Trusts in England implementing it in some way.

The majority of NHS trusts adopted the ‘4Ps’ (Position, Pain, Personal needs, Placement of items) model of rounding.

The research was commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and was led by Professor Ruth Harris in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care.

Hourly rounding places an emphasis on ‘tick box’ care.

The NIHR report – Intentional rounding in hospital wards to improve regular interaction and engagement between nurses and patients: a realist evaluation – is the first study of its kind in the world.

The study found that rounding placed an emphasis on transactional ‘tick box’ care delivery, rather than individualised care. However, patients were found to value their interactions with nursing staff, which the study argues could be delivered during other care activities and rather than through intentional rounding.

The report also found that rounding was implemented without consultation, careful planning and piloting in the interests of political expediency following the Francis Inquiry Report into care failures in the NHS.

Ruth Harris, Professor of Health Care for Older Adults at King’s College London, said; “Checking patients regularly to make sure that they are OK is really important but intentional rounding tends to prompt nurses to focus on completion of the rounding documentation rather than on the relational aspects of care delivery.

“Few frontline nursing staff or senior nursing staff felt intentional rounding improved either the quality or the frequency of their interactions with patients and their family.”

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Clinical Updates

Nurses’ ‘worry’ better than most early warning scores, finds study

Nurses were asked to grade patients between ‘no concern’ and ‘extreme concern’. 

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Observations

A sense of worry can provide important information for the detection of acute physiological deterioration.

Nurses’ worry has a “higher accuracy” than most published early warning scores (EWS) at predicting if a patient is becoming more unwell, according to a recent study.

The study looked at 31,159 patient-shifts for 3185 patients during 3551 hospitalisations across two surgical and two medical wards. Researchers compared if the nurses were worried about a patients potential for deterioration using ‘the Worry Factor’ with early warning score indicators.

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Nurses were asked to grade each patient between “no concern” and “extreme concern”.

The Worry Score

Out of 492 potential deterioration events identified, researchers found that when nurses had an increasing worry factor the patient was more likely to require emergency medical treatment – 7 cardiac arrest calls, 86 medical emergency calls and 76 transfers to the intensive care unit.

The study also revealed that accuracy rates were significantly higher in nurses with over a year of experience.

The researchers concluded that “nurses’ pattern recognition and sense of worry can provide important information for the detection of acute physiological deterioration” and was often more reliable than traditional early warning systems.

They also noted that the worry score could be used alone or easily incorporated into existing EWS to potentially improve their performance.

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