Newspaper montage jogs memories at refurbished ward

Newspaper montage jogs memories at refurbished ward

Sophie Flowers

Newspaper montage jogs memories at refurbished ward

The newly refurbished Henry Tudor Ward at St Mark's Hospital in Maidenhead was unveiled on Thursday with a host of features designed around patients with dementia.

The community rehabilitation ward, which helps people recover following an illness or injury, has been redesigned as part of a national programme to improve the patient environment.

Patients, carers and local Alzheimer's groups all had an input into the design process, with the use of colour, light, materials, and signs carefully considered to meet the needs of people with dementia.

Staff also liaised with the Maidenhead Advertiser to create a montage of photographs and stories from the newspapers archives.

Natalie McEwan, spokeswoman for Berkshire East Community Health Services, said the aim of the photos was to stimulate memories.

She said: "The whole environment has been designed to speed recovery so for people with dementia it's having things they can remember from their past and talk about."

The project opened up the space so that patients are actively encouraged to use areas like the day room and get involved in activities to improve their rehabilitation.

Soline Jerram, consultant nurse for older people and intermediate care, said: "We wanted the redeveloped ward to promote a calming atmosphere to support people who are agitated and disorientated, with areas for patients to enjoy when they want some quiet time."

She said the team had training on different design elements with people with dementia in mind.

"For example, flooring with a high shine may look nice but for people with perception problems it appears wet and they avoid walking on it, or hesitate," she said. "Getting things like this right has a positive effect on people with dementia."

The Enhancing the Healing Environment project received £50,000 from a central fund managed by The King’s Fund and the Department of Health. The team also raised a further £60,000 from local organisations, charities and individuals.

Tamra Booth, trustee at Michael Shanly Charitable Trust, said: "The Michael Shanly Charitable Trust is delighted to be able to support the redevelopment of the Henry Tudor Ward.

"The revitalisation of the ward will enable the hospital to ensure that the excellent care they provide is enhanced by a superb environment in which their patients can rehabilitate."

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