BBH Awards - Interior Design Award goes to refurbishment of Bradford hospital wards

Improvements enhance environments for people with dementia and trauma patients

The Best Interior Design Award went to Bradford Royal Infirmary for its work refurbishing two wards with a view to improving facilities for people with dementia

“The trauma ward is a scary place for people, especially if they have got dementia. It was quite grim, dark and ugly before, whereas now it is lovely and bright and there are things to look at.”

These comments from the relative of a patient at Bradford Royal Infirmary describe the impact the refurbishment of Ward 23 and the enhancement of the décor in Ward 29 have had.

Colour was key to the design, which picked up the Award for Best Interior Design, with themed wards providing a bright and comfortable environment.

The project was nurse-led from the start, with input from service users, charities and members of staff.

LED-lit boxes now define patient beds, housing a familiar object in which they can personalise their space. This is particularly useful in helping people to find their beds. Patient toilets are also identified with dementia-friendly signage and red toilet seats - a small yet high impact intervention that can reduce the potential for falls and injuries significantly.

The project was nurse led and involved the local community as part of a multi-disciplinary team. The resulting social spaces on the wards are very difficult to find in many other buildings

Cinema-style seating has been incorporated on both wards in collaboration with the Yorkshire Film Archive to help with reminiscence therapy and to foster a connection to the outside world, and a photography competition was held to source more than 100 images of the local scenery, which have been made into changeable displays in bespoke slide frames.

The project also includes dynamic LED lighting in bedrooms, which mimics natural daylight rhythm and aids sleep patterns that are often disrupted in people with dementia, marking the first trial of Philips’ HealWell therapeutic lighting system in an acute hospital environment.

In addition, wards have large TVs in single rooms with DVD players and USB ports where patients can view family photographs, and there is a reminiscence café where families can relax away from the ward area, as well as comfortable quiet rooms for staff discussion or bereavement counselling.

The judges said: “This is a breath of fresh air in terms of interior design in a clinical environment.

“It is about people inhabiting spaces in a thoughtful manner. The project was nurse led and involved the local community as part of a multi-disciplinary team. The resulting social spaces on the wards are very difficult to find in many other buildings.

“The project team has been clever with the use of clues on doors so that people are able to find their bed spaces and they have also used colour effectively and things like memory boxes. In addition they have carried out an evaluation and the patients are definitely calmer and happier. It is a very good example of using knowledge and experience to create a very human environment.”

WINNER Wards 23 and 29, Bradford Royal Infirmary (Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andy Edwards Design, Big Studio Glass Design, New Vision Signs & Graphics, PEC Building & Shopfitting)

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