Dementia ward opens at Londonderry Hospital

Ward revamp and new therapeutic hub to support dementia patients in Northern Ireland

A therapeutic new hub has been designed especially to suport dementia patients at Waterside Hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Alan Corry-Finn, director of primary care and older people’s care at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, said a dementia design audit carried out on the original dementia care ward identified that patients found it difficult to understand and navigate the ward, thus affecting their functioning, behaviour and independence.

He told BBH : “The provision of high-quality personalised care for patients with dementia is a challenge for hospitals and hospital staff.

“Being in hospital can be a very difficult time for someone with dementia. The trust is determined to see the continued improvement of patient care and experience and therefore the development of the newly-designed dementia care ward, and construction of a state-of-the art therapeutic hub, are fundamental in supporting people with dementia and their families.

“It is crucial that we provide the appropriate care for these vulnerable patients and their carers while in hospital and we believe the new developments within the ward will ultimately improve their quality of life.”

The new hub and refurbished dementia care ward was part of an overall service improvement plan embarked upon by the trust to reform and modernise older people’s mental health and dementia services, and provide a range of therapeutic interventions for people with dementia, delivered in a high-quality, safe and dementia-friendly environment.

The therapeutic hub has an activity and a therapy room, relaxation room, clinic room, a resource library, and an external therapeutic garden/courtyard.

The newly-designed dementia care ward has a therapeutic skills kitchen and features in the ward are very much in keeping with best practice in dementia design. This includes corridors that are comfortably wide for ease of movement; colour and contrast throughout to ensure that key features/ rooms are highly visible; easy access to a safe and enclosed external courtyard; effective use of colour and contrast for toilets and grab rails; and familiar and homely furniture and fittings.

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