Kingston Hospital transforms third elderly care ward for dementia patients

Dementia-friendly refurbishment includes new flooring, lighting, wall finishes, artwork and signage

Kennet Ward at Kingston Hospital is the third elderly care ward to be transformed in an effort to support patients with dementia

Kingston Hospital has successfully refurbished a third elderly care ward, Kennet Ward, into a dementia-friendly environment.

With the support of Kingston Hospital Charity, staff and patients at the hospital met last week to celebrate the transformation.

Kennet Ward is one of four elderly care wards at the hospital and the transformation has created surroundings that are secure, safe, homely and comfortable and which encourage patients to get up and out of their bed spaces and maintain their independence to support them in getting back home more quickly.

Kingston Hospital Charity has provided around £650,000 in funding, which has been used to revamp three elderly care wards, starting with Derwent Ward at the end of 2016 and followed by Blyth Ward at the end of 2018.

Charitable support funded the dementia-friendly aspects associated with the ward refurbishment programme, including flooring, lighting, wall finishes, social spaces, artwork and signage.

Jo Farrar, chief executive of Kingston Hospital, said: “The Care Quality Commission’s inspection of Kingston Hospital in 2018 noted the refurbishment work we had embarked on to improve the ward environments for older patients. It’s fantastic to see the completion of these works, which will help us continue to improve the quality of the care we provide at Kingston Hospital.”

Olivia Frimpong, the hospital’s dementia lead, added: “Initial results show that the changes to the environment are having a positive benefit.

“For example, the reduction in pressure sores demonstrates that patients are up and about more, and the improved lighting and flooring has reduced the likelihood of falls.”

The re-opening of Kennet Ward marks completion of the elderly care ward refurbishment programme, which is an integral part of the hospital’s dementia care strategy which was launched in 2014 with the aim of providing consistently-excellent dementia care.

Aspects of the design features incorporated into the wards have also been rolled out to other areas, including the emergency department, outpatients and medical wards.

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