Engage Programme

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust


Supporting the needs of older adults in hospital

The Engage Programme was designed by the Department of Clinical Psychology (Health) at Salisbury District Hospital. The clinical psychology team has been an integrated part of patient care at Salisbury for well over 20 years, working innovatively and keeping up with the latest information and ways of working.

The Engage Programme was developed to address the psychological needs of older adults admitted to hospital, as well as to respond to the current priorities within NHS care.

The goal of the programme is to support the psychological wellbeing of older adults in hospital by alleviating distress and preventing depression and anxiety. These conditions have a detrimental affect on general wellbeing and are associated with slower physical recovery and increased time spent in hospital.

The Engage Programme team at Salisbury now encompasses over 50 volunteers who work five days a week throughout the year to support our older adults on a one-to-one or group basis. The volunteers provide cognitive and social stimulation with a variety of interventions such as talking and listening, reminiscence therapy, patient-led discussions, reading newspapers, magazines or books, memory puzzles, crosswords and so on.

As well as providing these interventions, many of the volunteers support the team's research, training and recruitment, which is vital to the continual development and expansion of the service.