Revamped elderly care ward at QA to be opened

Southern Health project supporting patients shortlisted for award

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ONE of the wards at Queen Alexandra Hospital that looks after elderly patients has been revamped to be more dementia-friendly.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), which runs QA, and Carillion has been renovating F4 ward.

The team suggested ways to adapt the environment to better meet the needs of older patients during their stay.

Changes include a new ward reception area, large clocks, clear, bold and bright signs, handrails and bedbays that contrast each other, and note-writing stations for nurses.

The official opening is due to take place on Monday.

It will be done by Ursula Ward, chief executive of PHT, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas and Carol Elliot of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Beverley Vaughan, matron for medicine for older people, rehabilitation and stroke, said: ‘By improving the environment, this has made things more visible and clearer for patients to understand.

‘Research shows this will reduce the number of falls and maximise patient independence.’

It comes as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday pledged extra funding to improve care environments for people with dementia.

Up to £50m will be available to NHS trusts and local authorities, which can put in a bid in the next few months.

Mr Hunt said: ‘Being one of the best for dementia care is a priority, and doing what we can to help.’