The six-month project at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, part of South Tees NHS Foundation Trust, has seen major changes to Ward 11, including new bathrooms and social spaces.
“The floor is refurbished in grey, not blue, so that patients with dementia do not mistake it for water”
Funded by the trust’s private finance initiative (PFI) contract, the refurbishment was overseen by a nurse-led team who consulted extensively with staff, patients and carers. It represents the start of a major ward improvement programme at the hospital.
According to managers, the changes on Ward 11 have helped transform it into a “bright and modern ward for older patients with a range of needs”.
“We have a large multi-disciplinary team delivering excellent patient care and now with the new ward we have the kind of facilities that really enhance our work,” said Ward 11 manager Samantha Roberts.
The improvements include alterations to the decor with the needs of patients with dementia in mind as well as practical changes – such as ensuring bay areas have easily accessible oxygen points – that will make it easier for nurses and others to do their jobs.
“The floor is refurbished in grey, not blue, so that patients with dementia do not mistake it for water, as can sometimes be the case, and there is extra space with more rooms, enabling improved discretion for difficult conversations that need to be had,” said Ms Roberts.
She said one of the most significant improvements was the creation of more bathrooms on the ward including wet rooms that can be used by people with disabilities.
“This increases the number of patients that can access these facilities, which will help to promote mobility but also to support those with limited mobility,” she said.
“It is very important we try to make the hospital environment as pleasant as possible”
The make-over has included a replacement of the nurse call system and the installation of more electrical points and medical gas outlets.
Meanwhile, a doctors’ office, family and relatives’ room and dayroom have all been created along with improved storage facilities.
The new dayroom will enable “social dining” allow patients to eat meals with friends and family members.
Kevin Oxley, director of estates, ICT and healthcare records for the trust, said the new facilities would enhance patients’ wellbeing and support the delivery of great care.
“We’re delighted with the new ward, which provides the highest standard of accommodation and facilities for patients, medical and nursing staff,” he said.
“It is very important we try to make the hospital environment as pleasant as possible for patients and their families and these improvements will support the healing and caring environment we want to provide,” he added.
Improvements will now begin on Ward 12 at the hospital and the programme will continue until a further seven wards in the same block have been refurbished.