[A version of this abstract appears as part of a feature in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT) Volume 1 Issue 8 March 2011].
Matron Bowley from the Dementia Ward (arguably the main component of the New Cross Hospital Dementia Project) explains how Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust (RWHT) has been working closely with the King’s Fund to improve the patient journey for people who suffer with dementia.
The King’s Fund work on dementia involves enhancing the healing environment. People with dementia tend to find the hospital environment intimidating and alien and this can result in confusion and agitation. This in turn often impacts on length of stay and the physical and psychological health and well-being of the patient.
Improvements to the healing environment which are intended to mitigate against the above problems include the provision of a garden adjacent to the new Physical Illness and Dementia Ward (D22). Similarly, the use of colour, light and art work has been embraced imaginatively to create a more tranquil, welcoming atmosphere for patients; thereby reducing stress, increasing safety and preventing avoidable patient deterioration.
Consultations have been undertaken with various bodies including care homes and a Dementia Reference Group has been agreed.
The New Cross Hospital Dementia Project is in the process of transforming the Emergency Assessment Unit. The reception area will be relocated to the entrance of the Unit, where there will be a small seating area, and the bays will have a small nurse’s station which faces into the bays. These transformations are expected to be completed by early July 2011.
“Funding has been agreed and because of the project work undertaken in association with King’s Fund, the Trust had received £50,000 from the Department of Health. The Trust committed £15,000 from capital at the beginning of the project. The remainder of the funding had been realised through sponsorship and fund-raising initiatives. The overall total initial costs are £73,250 which includes a contingency of £5,000″.
Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors Held on Monday 17th January, 2011 at 10.00 a.m. in the Board Room of the Clinical Skills and Corporate Services Centre, New Cross Hospital. Wolverhampton: The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, 2011.