The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has developed a new dayroom space to encourage elderly patients out of bed and to support them on their day of discharge.
“The dayroom is at the centre of everything that happens on the ward from daily lunch clubs to ensuring timely discharges”
The once underused dayroom has been “brought back to life by staff”, the trust noted, and has become a focal point for patients on Combe ward at the Royal United Hospital.
The Dayroom to Doorstep initiative is the brainchild of senior sister, Helen Slocombe, who said the new space has helped patients to become more mobile and to socialise with one another.
It has been kitted out with comfy chairs and a big table and has been sensitively decorated to compliment a number of vintage props, including an old television, a rotary dial telephone and a piano.
Older patients on the ward can come to the dayroom to participate in games and art sessions and are encouraged by staff to make themselves a cup of tea in the kitchen there.
Ms Slocombe said: “We’ve really changed the way we work on Combe ward, making sure the dayroom is at the centre of everything that happens on the ward from daily lunch clubs to ensuring timely discharges.”
As well as improving patient mobility, Ms Slocombe said the dayroom has helped the hospital with patient flow.
“On a day a patient is due to be discharged, we will support them into the day room as early as possible to prepare them for their journey home, at the same time freeing up a much-needed bed,” she said.
“Encouraging the patients to get out of bed and move around is so important for their muscle strength”
The senior sister described the project as a “real success” and said there were plans in place to expand it to other wards across the hospital.
The room was also developed with support from occupational therapist, Annabel Hafner.
Ms Hafner said: “Encouraging the patients to get out of bed and move around is so important for their muscle strength. It also builds their confidence and independence.
“We also encourage patients on the ward to dress in their own clothes while they are with us as this has been shown to aid their recovery,” she said.
Both Ms Slocombe and Ms Hafnel recently spoke about the initiative at a virtual End PJ Paralysis global summit conference, which focused on the different work being done to encourage hospital patients to get up and about, wearing their own clothes, to boost their recovery.