Bradford hospital is now dementia friendly

Hayley Collis, charity fundraiser, in the new dementia friendly garden

Hayley Collis, charity fundraiser, in the new dementia friendly garden

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A ground-breaking scheme to redesign a hospital’s whole public area with dementia patients in mind, has officially opened in Bradford.

St Luke’s new look was made possible thanks to a £513,000 Department of Health grant and was unveiled yesterday by 63-year-old Marlene Aveyard who has dementia.

Mrs Aveyard, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago and is the third generation of her family to have the disease, was a member of the scheme’s project board.

Ideas for the revamp were gathered from staff, patients and at community events. Artworks, more colour and more light have brightened up the Horton Wing and two dementia-friendly gardens have also been created.

New signs to help people get about easily are also part of the scheme as is a new dementia-friendly help desk and toilets.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) area has been revamped and equipment has been removed from corridors and entrances.

Mrs Aveyard said the opening was “very emotional” and added: “The care of dementia patients has come so far. Even in the last five years, since my diagnosis, the change has been so fast and rapid that care has been totally transformed for the better.

“It’s very daunting going to outpatients appointments, you don’t know where you are going and it is all very clinical. The renovations have made the environment so much more calming.

“The new St Luke’s is going to make such a difference to people’s lives.”

Chief Nurse Juliette Greenwood said the scheme was another ‘feather in the cap’ for the city’s efforts to become designated ‘dementia-friendly’.

The official opening comes ahead of next week’s Dementia Awareness Week which starts tomorrow.

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