A dementia ward at King’s Mill Hospital’s has been officially opened after fundraisers raised thousands of pounds to transform it.
The Sutton hospital’s old Ward 52 for elderly care has also been renamed Woodland Ward to reflect its new look.
The name was chosen by Lorraine Brooks, dementia lead nurse, and Joanne Lewis-Hodgkinson, lead falls nurse, from dozens of ideas suggested by patients, staff and the public.
To support the new name, the common areas of the ward will be decorated with woodland murals and photographs.
Project manager Catherine Cheyne, operational Manager at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “Thank you to everyone who put forward a name suggestion for the ward – we had a great response.
“Staff chose Woodland Ward, primarily because the ward overlooks woodland adjacent to the hospital site, but the team also feel the care environment should reflect the colour and calm of a woodland setting.”
Sean Lyons, trust chairman, said: “Some of the fantastic innovations in Woodland Ward are tailored to the specific needs of dementia patients.
“However, many of the new ideas introduced here could also be replicated in other wards.
“It’s a blueprint for better, more welcoming care environments for patients, staff and visitors.”
Woodland Ward has several new and ground-breaking design features, including innovative mood lighting and interior designs in styles familiar to older patients.
There are colour-coded areas to help familiarise patients with areas of the ward, while new flooring has been installed to reduce slips, trips and falls
Sensory and activity rooms have been introduced to stimulate or calm patients and there are memory walls to prompt patients’ long term memories
Fundraising to cover the costs of the new facility continues, with more than £200,000 needed to fully fund the project.
Mr Lyons said: “We are determined to provide the best quality care for patients living with dementia. However, we also have to balance the books.
“The trust is enormously grateful for the work of staff, volunteers and members of the public.”