Enhancing the healing environment at Lulworth Ward

ContactLouise Jenkins
Telephone01202 442408
AddressPoole Hospital, Longfleet Rd, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2JB

What is being done?

Enhancing the healing environment at Lulworth Ward Enhancing the healing environment at Lulworth WardLulworth Ward is a 24 bedded acute medical ward caring for Older People. Many of our patients have a cognitive impairment such as Dementia.

The new design of Lulworth is based on research supported by the Kings Fund Enhancing the Healing Environment Project. It focuses on the use of light, colour, art and signage to produce an area that is calming, welcoming and aids recovery for all, whilst promoting well-being, orientation and independence for people with Dementia. The colours chosen are as the result of preferred themes arising from the views of service users, their families, the public and hospital staff during the consultation period.

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The Single Room and Bay door frames have been accented with colour to aid orientation, whilst all toilet doors are now yellow – again to aid orientation. The signage on toilet and shower room doors has been minimised and replaced with pictorial signs.

The single rooms each have a ‘memory box’ allowing patients and their relatives to display personal items to assist dementia patients in orientation and to promote independence.

New flooring has been chosen for its natural feel and non-reflective finish – this reduces the pooling of light which can be mistaken for a slippery or wet surface.

The Welcome Desk and storage area have been designed to maximise space and reduce clutter. A patient seating area has been added to create an additional space for patients to sit and chat without being too far away from the main ward. The main ward and lounge have new art work to stimulate discussion – new furniture for the lounge will hopefully be purchased at a later date.

The ward has had new lighting installed to emulate natural day light. Dimmer switches allow staff to adjust the light according to the time of day to assist in time orientation for patients.

What difference does this seem to be making?

Anecdotal reports are that it has reduced falls and facilitated infection control. Team have been urged to develop more rigorous evaluation process and to consider rolling out the learning to rest of the hospital.

“We’re all aware of how an environment can impact on us when we are feeling unwell. I think this will improve people’s wellbeing and help the process of recovery … It has a calmer feel to it, which is very important to patients with dementia, and we believe the lighting will reduce the use of anti-psychotic medication”

Louise Jenkins

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. It’s like going into a posh hotel. It cheers people up no end.”

Jean Slade, Patient

“It’s wonderful, fantastic. It lifts my mood coming into work and the patients are very positive.”

Ros Bell, Staff Nurse