Bradford's dementia care praised by professor

The national Clinical Director for Dementia for England at the Department of Health, Professor Alistair Burns, visited wards 23 and 29 which were revamped under Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Enhancing the Healing Environment project.

The project saw the Trust invest £450,000 with £50,000 from The King’s Fund to create a more calming space to influence patient behaviour.

This was achieved by providing memory boxes by each bed, into which patients place a personal object they can remember, the introduction of a reminiscence cafe, new colourful surroundings, and picture slide frames, backlit with LED lighting, which feature images from the Yorkshire Film Archive which include bygone scenes such as families at the seaside and well-known Bradford landmarks.

While films like those from the Carry On series are played on a wall opposite specially-designed cinema seats.

Prof Burns hailed Bradford as a fabulous example of how redesigning a ward could make it so much more welcoming.

He said: “The things that I have seen here really bring to life the changes that you can make to improve the lives of people with dementia – it underlines how important the environment is.”

Head of nursing for medicine, Dawn Parkes, said Bradford was leading the way.

In the six months since the unveiling of the new wards there has been a reduction in falls, patients are less agitated and interaction between staff and patients has improved.

In April, ward 30s (elderly care) corridor will also be injected with colour and will form a mirror image of ward 29 with the addition of cinema seats, films projected on walls and lightboxes showing pictures of bygone days thanks to a £19,000 donation from the Friends of the Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Throughout 2012-13 there will also be dementia training for staff.

Chief Nurse Sally Napper said: “The nature of how we care for vulnerable dementia patients in a society with an ageing population is a key priority for Bradford Teaching Hospitals.”

The Telegraph & Argus is running a campaign called With Respect which aims at winning more respect and dignity for elderly people.

 

Sourced from The Telegraph and Argus, 7th March 2012.