Shop now open! Share your love of music and support Playlist for Life. Visit now.

Shop now open! Share your love of music and support Playlist for Life. Visit now.

NHS Fife’s success with Playlist for Life

We’re working with healthcare professionals to support patients with dementia


Four NHS Fife wards who recently completed Playlist for Life training were celebrated at an event recognising the health board’s drive to improve its care of people living with dementia.

The four wards completed training by Helen Skinner (Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant) who is a trained Playlist for Life trainer. Helen hailed the work of the wards as a great achievement, particularly as the training took place amid challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown.

Senior NHS Fife colleagues endorsed Playlist resources

The event was also attended by Shona Davidson (Head of Nursing) and Lynne Garvey (Head of Community Care Services at Fife Health and Social Care Partnership) who have been very supportive of Playlist for Life and expressed their gratitude to everybody involved.

The wards celebrated were Elmview Ward, Stratheden; Letham Ward, Cameron Hospital and Wards 1 and 2 in Glenrothes Hospital with Ward 2 in Glenrothes Hospital being formally presented with its Playlist for Life plaque by our Head of Communities, Rebecca Kennedy.

Staff at Letham Ward, Cameron Hospital
Staff at Ward 1, Glenrothes Hospital

Playlists in nursing practice

Staff from the wards talked to guests about Playlist for Life training and shared the observed outcomes.

Danielle Law, an activities co-ordinator with Stratheden Hospital, shared her experience of working with a family to create a playlist for their relative who had been diagnosed with dementia. It was so successful that the family very generously made a donation that enabled the ward to buy every patient an MP3 player and headphones. After creating a personalised playlist for everyone, it was observed that patients had reduced anxiety, reduced need for medication, increased mood and higher quality of visits with family.

Fran Lawson, a staff nurse who represented Ward 2 in Glenrothes Hospital, gave an insightful presentation on her journey to become a dementia champion and her strive to make change for those living with dementia. Fran praised our training, sharing that it gave her the courage to take things forward and create change for patients.

Fran and her colleagues used Playlist to support a patient with late-stage dementia. The patient, a former Sergeant Major who loved music and played the trumpet and the piano, showed stress and anxiety and his short-term memory was almost gone. With the help of his partner, Fran used our resources to create a playlist. Fran described the results as ‘awesome’ noting that he was able to sing one of his favourite songs, Abide with Me by The Salvation Army, with his partner. 

Danielle with staff at Elmview Ward, Stratheden Hospital

The importance of volunteers in the care of those affected by dementia

We also heard from Josie Smith (Volunteer Development Lead for Community Hospitals) from Ward 1 in Glenrothes Hospital who talked about the power of music for her personally and how the voice of Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers would always get her up on the dancefloor. Josie stressed the important roles of volunteers, particularly Frank McClure, in helping to deliver Playlist to patients in the ward.

Playlists in the community

The special event concluded with an emotive vlog from Audrey McCann, an Alzheimer Scotland Link Worker, who has been using our resources to support people living with dementia at home and the NHS Fife’s plans to expand its delivery of Playlist within the local community. 

If you’d like to learn more about our resources and training for healthcare professionals, click here to visit our training website

Want to keep up to date with Playlist for Life news? Find us here: