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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS

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Home > News > Ward move at the cumberland infirmary brings benefits to dementia patients

Ward move at the cumberland infirmary brings benefits to dementia patients

Posted on Thursday 6th February 2014
maple a ward opening

One of the acute frail elderly care wards at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has moved to a bigger area with an increased bed capacity of five beds and many added benefits for elderly patients including some specifically for those with dementia, to create a safer environment. 

The increased bed capacity will also help to ensure that elderly patients are looked after in the correct area which will lead to an enhanced patient experience.

The move from Maple C ward to Maple A allowed the staff on the ward to put their clinical knowledge and input into the design and specifications of the new ward area with the layout and design tailored for elderly patients and patients with dementia. This includes clear signs and pictures on every door and room and specific colour schemes in the bathrooms to enable those who are partially sighted to utilise the facilities more easily. In addition, the floors in the wards are neutral as patients with dementia often mistake colour changes in floors for steps and blue floors for water, creating potential hazards for slips and falls.

The ward staff felt it was important to address these issues before moving onto the new ward. Louise Fitzpatrick, ward manager, said: “The team are very excited to have been involved in the design of the new ward from the start.

“We are a fully multi-disciplinary team, allowing us to ensure patients have the best possible care and experience. The OPAT team (old-aged person assessment team) will also form part of the team on the new ward by ensuring that when patients are medically fit they are appropriately transferred or discharged to a care setting or their own home which will help to ensure efficient flow of our patients through the ward.

An additional improvement on the new ward is there is now an activities cupboard with various games and entertainment that the patients can freely make use of throughout their stay.

Alison Shaw from the Patient Experience team at the Trust said: “This is a great ward for taking on patient feedback and patient discharge cards are always actively encouraged by the staff. The activities cupboard is a great example of how patient feedback has been used effectively to benefit future patients”.

The opening of the ward was celebrated with a coffee and cake afternoon on Monday where all were welcome to come and have a look at the new ward and its facilities. Patients were pampered and received hair and nail treatments courtesy of Bethany Woods from Scott and Short hairdressers and Ashleigh Barclay from Belle Amour Beauty, both from Carlisle.