St Luke's Hospital improves dementia care with £513,000 scheme

Some of the artworks being installed by Stella Corrall and Clinton Pilkington

Some of the artworks being installed by Stella Corrall and Clinton Pilkington

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Chief Reporter

A £513,000 scheme to improve the care of dementia patients at a Bradford hospital will be officially opened next month.

The final stages of renovations, which aim to make patients’ experiences even better, are nearing completion at St Luke’s Hospital ready for its May 16 opening.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ dementia project manager Danielle Woods said: “Creating dementia-friendly surroundings can help patients to be more independent, reduce stress and make their lives more dignified.

“Our ‘Yorkshire at its Best’ scheme will enhance our healing environment and will greatly improve our public areas for everyone but especially for people who live with dementia.

“This nine-month initiative has been a real community effort with patients, the public, people living well with dementia, local voluntary organisations, the Alzheimer’s Society, Carers’ Resource and Meri Yaadain, all working together and having a say on what they would like to see in our dementia-friendly transformation scheme.”

A landscape designer and a team of artists were brought in to develop the two dementia-friendly gardens at the Horton Wing where people can sit and recuperate.

A major part of the refurbishment involved introducing signs and art to help people find their way around St Luke’s, in Little Horton Lane, and encourage orientation for people living with dementia, cognitive impairments or those who have problems communicating.

Mrs Woods said: “A huge amount of research and consideration has gone into designing the right type of signage to support the different needs of the many people, from across the district and beyond, who use our hospital.”

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) area is being revamped and equipment is being removed from corridors and entrances to make them clutter-free. A new dementia-friendly help desk and new public toilets are also being installed, along with places to sit and rest.

The project’s official opening will take place at the Horton Wing main entrance. A marquee, sponsored by the dementia-friendly My Life computer software company, will be put-up for community groups to celebrate in.

Chief executive Bryan Millar will welcome guests at 10.30am and patients, visitors, staff and the public are invited to go and see the new improvements.

Guests will also be able to learn more about what services and information exist across the district for people living with dementia.

Chief nurse Juliette Greenwood said she hoped the striking changes would make real improvements to patients’ wellbeing by creating a more relaxed environment, allowing people to be more independent and making their lives more dignified.

She said: “This transformation of St Luke’s is fantastic news for our patients and their carers and families. It is also another feather in the cap for the city as it strives to become a dementia-friendly city.

“I hope that patients, the public and staff will join us in celebrating the creation of this special healing environment, not just for those people who suffer from dementia, but for everyone who needs our care.”

The scheme was made possible thanks to funding from the Department of Health.

When the grants were announced last July, Bradford Teaching Hospitals was among the first of 42 hospital trusts awarded money to develop dementia-friendly environments.

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