Posted by: ayrshirehealth | September 24, 2014

Chirpy, chirpy, tweet, tweet…. by @sparklystar55

Delirium and Creamola Foam

In November I’m off to the European Delirium Association Conference to share the work that’s been done on the delirium pathway in A&A. It’s in a place called Cremona which to my mind looks and sounds like Creamola, as in the foam drink from my childhood.

Delirium 2screen-capture-12The work I’m presenting on is education.

For many thinking about childhood will mean revisiting their school days. I’m sure there are those reading this that could not wait to get out of school to do something less boring.

Fair enough. Me, I loved school – I know, I know but before you throw something at me let me explain. I love learning but more than that I love sharing the learning, bouncing ideas off people and trying out new ways of teaching.

An enlightening experience 

A big part of my job is to do with teaching. I think we all do it whether we realise or not. There is always someone who’s been there, done that and who is happy to share the experience.Teaching 2

Then there’s the formal teaching that underpins service delivery and clinical governance. The kind that’s directly attributable to ensuring patient safety. A serious issue. And rightly so.

However, education should, by its definition, be ‘an enlightening experience’. One that stimulates, engages and is fun.

So, while I love my job, it is with welcome relief I get the opportunity to escape the day to day hurly burly and balancing of competing demands to have time to refresh and recharge, to get out to play ..….

Social media

Now, it is more fun when you can find other like-minded individuals willing to spend time with you. This is where my love of social media comes in. Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereIt’s like the modern day equivalent of chapping someone’s door and asking if they want to come out and play. And hey, if they don’t come out you can bet they will stare out the window watching it all until they eventually relent and join you.

So social media has been a huge part of the delirium education program in NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

This wasn’t always so. In the beginning there was the suggestion that all the learning should be made mandatory and as such have the required funding and bodies in place to deliver it. Immediately.



We have a workforce of over 9,000 people. Too many to fit in the lecture theatre. Online modules are great but they can be a bit dry and time consuming. Money is also a precious commodity these days in the NHS.

ClinEdAAAHowever what I did notice was that while people may not spend time reading journals on their break (who does?) – thanks to smartphones people would go on Facebook and Twitter. Why not reach them that way?

And so the NHS A&A Delirium Facebook page was born – 252 members and counting.  Delirium FB pageAn online resource for videos, blogs, abstracts, even discussions about name badges.

It is mostly aimed at nursing staff who have been the biggest challenge to reach education wise, due to many reasons such a shift patterns and ward duties.

Delirium videos

We have used Vine – the video version of twitter. A 6s video that loops. VineThe idea – take one learning objective, distil it into a 6s video and let it play over and over.

All of these can be linked to Twitter to engage with the wider healthcare community. Spark more ideas. And before you know it people are engaging in discussion, making videos, sharing ideas and dare I say it, possibly having fun too….?

Staff are engaged, awareness of delirium has increased but they need supported. Learning is an evolutionary process and will not stand still.

So while all this is going on, behind the scenes the serious business of creating an educational infrastructure is starting to take shape.

We need to share the learning and empower people to it back to their clinical areas. If you have a well educated workforce then that will surely translate to better patient care.

So, in summary, you do want to come and out play…?

This week’s blog was by @sparklystar55 (Dr Claire L Copeland) Consultant Physician in Care of the Elderly & Stroke Medicine; Foundation Programme Director (W2), University Hospitals Crosshouse & Ayr.


  1. 1. “However, education should, by its definition, be ‘an enlightening experience’. One that stimulates, engages and is fun.”

    I simply love this paragraph. It says everything I feel about learning, especially the fun bit. I facilitate a discussion/quiz group for those less able and strive to ensure it “stimulates, engages and is fun”.

    2. Regarding Social Media, I recently had treatment from an NHS Health Professional. He/she hated social media with a vengeance. “If something appears on my screen and its nothing to do with “See that wee red cross there? SPAM!!” [Said with some emotion!] I fear we may have some way to go with those ‘more mature.’

    3. I’ll see your ‘Creamola Foam and raise you a ‘Sherbet Dip’ !


    • Cremona foam what about the Lucky Tatties, great blog with a bit of added reminiscence. Have to say not all “those mature” back off from social media maybe sit and watch others play for a while but then WHAM up there playing with the best of them. Then again some “mature” leading the way.

  2. I love your enthusiasm…it’s infectious. Good blog

  3. Thanks for the comments! Really appreciate it 😀

  4. Great blog Claire, very inspiring, you are doing great work.

    I wasn’t keen on Cremola Foam, but give me a white mouse or a jazzie and I would be happy 😉


    • Thanks Kate! I was m ore of a soda stream person, Creamola always seemed a bit of a let down… 😀

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