Eliot Ward Improvement Project – COMPLETE!

Eliot Ward Improvement Project


We’re thrilled to announce that we reached the goal of £120,000 to transform Eliot Ward to make it the perfect environment for patients with dementia. We couldn’t have done it without your help!

To hear our latest update about completing the appeal read our latest news article here.

The hospital is looking to improve Eliot Ward to make it an appropriate environment for patients with dementia. It is a 27 bed acute medical care of the older person ward, with on average 58% of patients having a confirmed diagnosis of dementia, delirium or both.

A busy hospital environment can be a confusing place for people living with dementia to navigate. Hospital stays are recognised to have detrimental effects on people with dementia resulting in longer lengths of stay and poorer outcomes.

Musgrove Park Hospital recognises the importance of the environment in patient care and we are on our way to our goal of providing outstanding dementia care by improving the surroundings and training and education for front-line staff. So much good work has been achieved on the ward with limited resources including:

  • Provision of two chairs for patients and visitors to sit on outside of the ward bays

  • Conversion of a small linen store to a multi-disciplinary team office to move staff away from the main entrance area.

Creation of a fully dementia friendly environment for patients will make the patient experience more comfortable and help calm their fears whilst being in hospital.

The need for the project:

Eliot Ward was originally a cardiac ward and is unsuitable for patients living with dementia as:

  • the lighting has an adverse effect on sleep which can cause stress and impacts on wellbeing

  • the flooring has a glossy surface which can be perceived by patients as being wet and can cause anxiety and deters them from being able to walk safely across the floor without being distracted or thrown off balance

  • the absence of a dedicated quiet space means patients are unable to move away from their bedside and have a comfortable space to relax and be away from the busy ward environment

  • the lack of current storage make the corridors cluttered meaning it can be difficult for patients to navigate safely through the ward using the handrails

Research from the Kings Fund and Stirling University has demonstrated the profound effect the right environment has on the well-being and recovery of those living with dementia.

The refurbishment project will centre around six key principles of dementia-friendly design:

  1. Use of colour for wayfinding and navigation – using dementia-friendly colours to identify each bed space and differentiate between different bays and side rooms. Limiting the colours will have contrasting light reflective values so that patients with dementia will be able to see the difference between them.
  2. Lighting – new LED lighting will be installed in the Ward and the quiet area. It will mimic the normal frequency of daylight from morning to evening which is known to have a positive influence on normal sleep patterns for patients.
  3. Flooring – the flooring throughout will be replaced with a matt, not shiny floor which will also guide where patients can safely be.
  4. Artwork – iconic images of the local area to be used in large murals around the ward to help orientate patients to Somerset.
  5. Social Spaces – creating a quiet room with a wider entrance will provide a homely feel for patients to sit away from their bedside with large armchairs and sofas. Removal of the nurse station with a smaller bespoke desk will offer additional space for patients and families to socialise and provide a welcoming, uncluttered space.
  6. Declutter/Storage – additional storage is needed for dirty utility/sluice to convert the current store room into the much needed space for the quiet room. New storage for handling medicines will not only give the ward a less clinical feel but will also declutter the corridor, making them a safe place for patients to walk using the hand rails. The air delivery system used to transport samples, documents and small equipment will be moved to ensure access for staff with the new bespoke desk.

Project funding

The total cost is £120,000 which consists of:

  • £3,720 to strip out the walls, partitions and nurses stations and put up new walls, doors, doorways and partitions

  • £4,000 to paint the ward with dementia friendly colours

  • £7,000 for the dementia friendly flooring

  • £5,000 for the dementia friendly lighting

  • £26,000 for the bespoke desk, storage including the new drug storage and cupboards for the sluice and dirty utility

  • £51,280 for electrical and mechanic works which includes new LED lighting with dimmer control sensors, installation of new wash hand basins, new sluice, new electrical sockets, adjustments to the drainage system, ventilation installation and power supplies throughout.

  • £5,000 for a new air delivery system

  • £18,000 for the preliminary work to carry out the improvement project

Art for Life are providing the art work for the ward; they manage the art and design programme at Musgrove Park Hospital by creating high quality, vibrant and inspiring environment for creative experiences that support the health and wellbeing of our patients including those suffering with dementia. By working with colleagues in the hospital and using the guidelines and learnings from the Kings Fund’s ‘Enhancing Healing Environment’ schemes, Art for Life will use colours and artwork to support patients to find their way around the ward and to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere.

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