We revamp two wards and improve dementia care

Kettering General Hospital has completed the first stage of a significant refurbishment of two of its wards to make them more suitable for older people and patients living with dementia.

The two wards – Lamport and Twywell – are being upgraded with new colour schemes, floors, artificial skylights, and a wild flower mural scheme to run across both wards.

Work on Lamport ward was carried out in August and was completed on September 1 – with work on Twywell commencing on September 2.

It will cost £190,000 to refurbish both wards including an £8,000 donation from the hospital’s Dragon’s Den competition for staff held in February.

Medicine and Older Adults Matron, Alice Chalmers, said: “At first, following the Dragon’s Den, we had modest plans to refurbish both Lamport and Twywell Wards to make them more suitable for patients living with dementia.

“Then Covid-19 came along which brought with it additional new challenges so we had to ensure the refurbishment also included improvements to social distancing.

“In Lamport that has meant the ward going from 22 beds down to 18 beds and Twywell will go down from 22 to 16.

“In Lamport the refurbishment has enabled us to develop a complete partition between two of our five-bed bays with new doors. This has helped us improve infection prevention measures during this difficult period.

“In addition we thought very carefully about how to improve the ward environment for patients living with dementia.

“Part of our bid to the Dragon’s Den event was to change the colour scheme from white to pale blue in Lamport, our male ward, and to lemon in Twywell, for our female ward.

“These are colours which research has shown help people with dementia to stay calm.

“In addition we have fitted four skylights in Lamport Ward which look amazing like blue skies and trees and mean patients who have to say in bed can look up and see something more stimulating than a blank ceiling.”

“The greater space we now have between beds in the ward is also helpful for when we need to use hoists and other equipment with patients.”

Lamport patient Duncan Potter, 77, from Corby, said: “I think it is brilliant. The colours are very nice and calming and I am sure they will be beneficial for patients with dementia.”

Interim Head of Nursing Joy Manning said: “The improvements we have made to Lamport will then be followed by very similar improvements to Twywell.

“Both wards also benefit from our fantastic Dementia Garden which was completed last year and sits adjacent to these wards.

“This is also a great benefit to patients living with dementia as it enables them to go outside in a safe environment and reminisce about things like the sea side – which is the theme in the garden.”

Kettering General Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Quality, Leanne Hackshall, said: “I want to thank the teams on Lamport and Twywell for the incredible efforts they have made to care for their patients during the Covid-19 pandemic and of course during this refurbishment; the team and their patients now have a much better environment in which to deliver modern healthcare

“I also want to thank our estates team and contractors for creating this fantastic and much improved new environment for some of our older patients. It has been a real transformation.”