Going into hospital can be a daunting thought for anyone, but for people with dementia, the experience can be particularly stressful and it can an especially worrying time for families and carers.
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has a proactive approach to caring for patients with this condition. All staff joining the Trust are taught to be dementia-friendly as part of their induction to ensure appropriate support and assistance is provided to patients during their stay.
Along with appropriate support and assistance given to people, the environment also plays an important role in the wellbeing of this vulnerable group of patients. Because a patient’s surroundings matter, the Trust has introduced a number of dementia-friendly wards.
At the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Hurley Lodge is an eight-bedded unit where patients who are medically fit but waiting for their domiciliary care package or nursing home placement, are cared for. The unit has recently undergone a complete refurbishment, thanks to a generous donation from the hospital’s League of Friends (LoF). The unit now provides a much calmer and comfortable environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy acute wards, and is now an ideal environment for patients with more complex needs.
Charge Nurse, Rod Santillan said: “We are thrilled with the makeover. The colour coding of the two four-bedded bays and lovely individual flower images associated to each bed space provide a simple visual reminder for patients of ‘their’ space on the ward.
“The donation has also furnished the unit with colour co-ordinated chairs, a social dining table, clocks, colourful wall pictures and portable radios. This all enhances and promote an ideal environment for patients and their friends, and relatives who visit regularly. On behalf of all the patients and the Lodge nursing team I would like to thank the LoF for their generosity.”
Martin Butler, LoF Development Manager and Charity lead for the project is delighted with the finished result: “The committee all agreed that the refurbishment of Hurley Lodge was an initiative we should support. It was an absolute pleasure being able to help the nursing team deliver their vision.
“We know that it is often the added extras that make a difference to a patient’s experience and we hope our latest contribution has helped to provide an environment that promotes wellbeing.”