Blackburn dementia ward transformed into one of best in country

Blackburn Citizen: Dawn Fielding, centre, of Whalley, looks over the new day room with health care assistants Jade Osbaldeston and Diane Yates Dawn Fielding, centre, of Whalley, looks over the new day room with health care assistants Jade Osbaldeston and Diane Yates

A REGULAR medical ward at the Royal Blackburn Hospital has been transformed into one of the best in the country for dementia care.

Ward C5 has undergone a complete overhaul as part of a £1.4million project, including ‘intelligent’ healing lights which reflect the patient body clock, larger bed spaces, bright colours to promote orientation, and a nature theme.

The new LED lights mean the Royal Blackburn is the first hospital in the country to use lighting to replicate the circadian rhythm, following pioneering research in Belgium and Holland.

The new ‘home in hospital’ environment is aimed at helping patients feel more calm and relaxed in what can often be a distr-essing situation, and was made possible by cash from the Kings Fund and its ‘enhancing the healing environment’ project.

John Dean, associate medical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “There is increasing evidence that the physical environment where we deliver care has a major impact on outcomes for people with dementia.

“It also improves the experience of care for them, and their carers, as well as being more rewarding for staff.

“We have developed a programme of simple changes to ward and communal areas across all trust sites, while introducing the dementia- friendly principles from the very beginning of the refurbishment on Ward C5.”

The 14-bed ward also includes specialist signage systems using words, icons and symbols, a quiet room to meet relatives and take time out, and personal pods above each bed so patients can bring in a familiar object from home.

Sandra Nuttall, clinical dementia nurse lead, said: “The number of people who develop dementia is set to double over the next 15 to 20 years. “Knowledge of dementia is the responsibility of all health and social care staff, and I am pleased to be part of this project to continue to improve environments across all hospital sites to make them more accessible and friendly for people with dementia and their carers, families, and friends.”

Dr Nick Roberts, consultant physician and geriatrician at the trust, said: “The ward has been refurbished to a high standard to provide supervised reception, and a large open social area that enables a calm, caring, homely environment, maximising safety and dignity.”

“The new ward provides a mix of single and small communal bed areas (14 beds in total) with identifiable wet rooms, bathrooms and toilets, all providing suitable provision on the basis that all patients matter, and each patient receives safe, personal and effective care.”

Comments (8)

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5:43pm Fri 11 Apr 14

mavrick says...

Nice to hear some good positive news from the RBH at last.
Nice to hear some good positive news from the RBH at last. mavrick
  • Score: 9

5:54pm Fri 11 Apr 14

CorkyMac says...

mavrick wrote:
Nice to hear some good positive news from the RBH at last.
It's good to see a comment to acknowledge the fact as well Mavrick, sometimes as a society we just seem to comment on the negative side of things. Well done and good luck to ward C5.
[quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: Nice to hear some good positive news from the RBH at last.[/p][/quote]It's good to see a comment to acknowledge the fact as well Mavrick, sometimes as a society we just seem to comment on the negative side of things. Well done and good luck to ward C5. CorkyMac
  • Score: 12

6:29pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Openminded? says...

CorkyMac wrote:
mavrick wrote:
Nice to hear some good positive news from the RBH at last.
It's good to see a comment to acknowledge the fact as well Mavrick, sometimes as a society we just seem to comment on the negative side of things. Well done and good luck to ward C5.
Indeed I agree.

Good news at last !
[quote][p][bold]CorkyMac[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: Nice to hear some good positive news from the RBH at last.[/p][/quote]It's good to see a comment to acknowledge the fact as well Mavrick, sometimes as a society we just seem to comment on the negative side of things. Well done and good luck to ward C5.[/p][/quote]Indeed I agree. Good news at last ! Openminded?
  • Score: 7

6:59pm Fri 11 Apr 14

woolywords says...

My Father spent much of his retired years in Spain, where took to the culture, like a duck to water. On one of his rare visits to his homeland, the taxi that was due to pick him up, parked on the wrong side of the road, facing the wrong way. Were it not for his dementia, he would have looked right, before crossing the road and seen that bus, instead of catching it, full square and fatally.
Although the driver, a school friend of my brother, deeply regrets it, he now teaches other drivers, to be aware of that, 'silly old duffer, that doesn't look where he is going'. That was some 6 years ago and now, I too, can laugh.
Currently, my Mum, an Alzheimer's sufferer, is locking every door and window at night, to not let him in, after him staying out, so long. She reckons, 'He's with some floozy, somewhere.'
My Mum used to say to me, no matter where you are in the world, you ring me, to let me know that you are OK, and, if needs must, reverse the charges. Whenever I call her, and because I sound like my Dad on the phone, she hangs up on me. She then phones my brother, to tell him that my Dad, is still 'pestering her', on the phone.

Although the tragically comic circumstances of my family, may raise a laugh in the many, we should, as an whole, hold the deepest of respect and admiration, for those that deal with the more serious cases of age-related mental illness in our society. We are, as a family, deeply grateful, to those whom chose this vocation as a caring career.
My Father spent much of his retired years in Spain, where took to the culture, like a duck to water. On one of his rare visits to his homeland, the taxi that was due to pick him up, parked on the wrong side of the road, facing the wrong way. Were it not for his dementia, he would have looked right, before crossing the road and seen that bus, instead of catching it, full square and fatally. Although the driver, a school friend of my brother, deeply regrets it, he now teaches other drivers, to be aware of that, 'silly old duffer, that doesn't look where he is going'. That was some 6 years ago and now, I too, can laugh. Currently, my Mum, an Alzheimer's sufferer, is locking every door and window at night, to not let him in, after him staying out, so long. She reckons, 'He's with some floozy, somewhere.' My Mum used to say to me, no matter where you are in the world, you ring me, to let me know that you are OK, and, if needs must, reverse the charges. Whenever I call her, and because I sound like my Dad on the phone, she hangs up on me. She then phones my brother, to tell him that my Dad, is still 'pestering her', on the phone. Although the tragically comic circumstances of my family, may raise a laugh in the many, we should, as an whole, hold the deepest of respect and admiration, for those that deal with the more serious cases of age-related mental illness in our society. We are, as a family, deeply grateful, to those whom chose this vocation as a caring career. woolywords
  • Score: 17

10:38pm Fri 11 Apr 14

LancsLad92 says...

Improving a ward is great news but the problem with most dementia patients is they seem to just get left on their own for large periods of time and their needs not tended to.

My partner is a community carer and she tells me stories of how dementia sufferers have been left unattended at Blackburn Royal this has caused them to get really bad bed sores, infections and other illnesses. Some have come out severely underweight after going in at a healthy weight. This has later killed them or caused serious illnesses.

The problem isn't and never was because of the facilities available to the staff but the amount of staff available to do minor tasks that would prevent these, attention to small details makes a massive difference when someone's care is place in your hands, it could even save their life.

There should be in-house carers available at all times in hospitals, this would make a lot more sense to me. Nurses probably feel like they're wasting their time with such mediocre tasks that lesser paid and better experienced carers could handle.
Improving a ward is great news but the problem with most dementia patients is they seem to just get left on their own for large periods of time and their needs not tended to. My partner is a community carer and she tells me stories of how dementia sufferers have been left unattended at Blackburn Royal this has caused them to get really bad bed sores, infections and other illnesses. Some have come out severely underweight after going in at a healthy weight. This has later killed them or caused serious illnesses. The problem isn't and never was because of the facilities available to the staff but the amount of staff available to do minor tasks that would prevent these, attention to small details makes a massive difference when someone's care is place in your hands, it could even save their life. There should be in-house carers available at all times in hospitals, this would make a lot more sense to me. Nurses probably feel like they're wasting their time with such mediocre tasks that lesser paid and better experienced carers could handle. LancsLad92
  • Score: 8

6:36pm Sat 12 Apr 14

chammy says...

This is a good thing,but what worries me is what will be cut back to keep costs down, Ive been attending this hospital for 20 odd years due to diabetes and now when i need to have regular checks i have been discharged,disgustin
g!
This is a good thing,but what worries me is what will be cut back to keep costs down, Ive been attending this hospital for 20 odd years due to diabetes and now when i need to have regular checks i have been discharged,disgustin g! chammy
  • Score: -1

4:59pm Mon 14 Apr 14

noddy57 says...

stories like this tend to attract a few jokers but this disease is traumatic in its effects on many families and should be taken much more serious as it currently is,
stories like this tend to attract a few jokers but this disease is traumatic in its effects on many families and should be taken much more serious as it currently is, noddy57
  • Score: 3

11:37am Wed 16 Apr 14

sas0007 says...

Well if this is the best.....god help the rest of the country.....this hopital is not about ONE ward, and lets be honest, never a bigger mess was built. What has that superb baby unit been turn into..... a serious desease unit (TB etc.)....the road into and out of the hospital...a joke and dangerous....the A and E ....too small to cope...and the issues go on. My sympathy to the nurses and doctors who try to cope each day...and shame on those at the top who sit in there ivory towers on fat salaries.
Well if this is the best.....god help the rest of the country.....this hopital is not about ONE ward, and lets be honest, never a bigger mess was built. What has that superb baby unit been turn into..... a serious desease unit (TB etc.)....the road into and out of the hospital...a joke and dangerous....the A and E ....too small to cope...and the issues go on. My sympathy to the nurses and doctors who try to cope each day...and shame on those at the top who sit in there ivory towers on fat salaries. sas0007
  • Score: 0

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