A unit at Grantham Hospital which specialises in the care and treatment of older people suffering from dementia or complex mental health conditions was officially opened yesterday (Tuesday).
The newly refurbished Manthorpe Unit was opened by Eileen Ziemer-Cottingham, chairman of the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
She was joined by staff, patients and carers to celebrate the opening of the hospital’s only ward designed with the intention of providing improved care for dementia patients.
The 18-bedded assessment and treatment unit has undergone extensive refurbishment to specially create a more dementia friendly environment.
The trust was the only NHS organisation in the region to be awarded additional funding for a dementia care pilot under the national ‘enhancing the healing environment’ scheme. The £250,000 is in addition to the £500,000 that the trust has already invested in its county-wide refurbishment of its older adult units to design healing environments specifically intended to reduce confusion and fear in patients and stimulate their memories.
Ward manager Clare Kirk said: “A hospital stay can have a detrimental effect on older patients and can be really distressing. The new Manthorpe Unit now includes a number of innovative details that sets it apart from a normal hospital ward to ensure it is a more relaxing environment for all patients, but especially those with dementia and cognitive problems.
“All the communal areas are fitted out with soft furnishings, artwork, and soft lighting where patients can spend quality time in away from their bedrooms and interact with each other, staff and their visitors.
“Specific colour schemes have been used so that all toilets/showers, private and communal areas are colour coded to enable patients to easily recognise where they are. Their personal bedrooms are also kitted out with other visual cues so patients can more easily locate their personal space.”
Head of service Steven Roberts added: “Research has shown that changes to the environment in which dementia patients are treated can have a positive impact on falls, aggressive behaviours and staff morale, with an overall improvement in the quality and outcomes of patient care.”