Making Yeovil District Hospital dementia friendly

ContactJo Ryan, Associate Director of Nursing, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
AddressYeovil District Hospital, Higher Kingston, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4AT

What is being done?

Improving the hospital environment is being developed in conjunction with the Facilities team, the Matrons, Art in the Hospital and patients with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers.  Visits have been made to Musgrove Park Hospital and Magnolia House to identify areas of good practice.

A project proposal is with the Trust Fundraiser to approach Trustees associated with dementia to raise £150-£200K required to fund the project.  The project is aimed at improving the health care environment on Ward 6A of the Trust for all patients but has particular emphasis on older and vulnerable patients which incorporates the need of patients with dementia, confusion and memory loss.

Key areas of the project are:

  1. Creation of en-suite facilities in two bays.
  2. Improving lighting, décor and signage in a way that enhances the environment.
  3. Through the creation of dedicated seating areas and streamlining of the ward environment to help minimise falls and confusion for patients who ‘wander’.

The Trust has full engagement from the Deputy Director of Facilities and the Chief Executive is particularly ‘championing’ this as an integrated approach into the ‘All Estate Strategy’ at the Trust.

What difference this seems to be making

In one ward small areas of improvement have been made where possible including a dedicated seating area for patients with dementia, improved artwork in the ward area and a dedicated music scheme in the ward area was piloted in September, following support through the SHA.