Ipswich: Ipswich Hospital is awarded almost £1million to create a better care environment for people with dementia

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road.

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road. - Credit: Archant

A hospital in Suffolk has been awarded almost £1million for dementia care.

Yesterday, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced Ipswich Hospital’s project is one of 116 to be awarded a share of a £50million fund.

The award of £845,256 for Ipswich Hospital will pay for four new dementia-friendly wards, the creation of a complex care unit and a new carers’ centre.

The successful projects will form part of the first national pilot to showcase the best examples of dementia-friendly environments across England.

Dr Lynne Wigens, director of nursing and quality at the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are all delighted with the announcement and cannot wait to get started on the building work to make it a reality.

“We worked with the King’s Fund, a national health charity committed to best practice, to create our first dementia-friendly ward in the hospital called Haughley Ward.

“It features a specially-designed ward environment, with colour-coded bays and symbols to help patients find their way around.

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“Patients with dementia are given blue wristbands so staff can easily identify them, and are served food on red meal trays so that staff know these patients need extra help with eating and drinking.

“The feedback from patients, relatives and staff about the ward has been immensely positive and we are all so pleased that thanks to this special funding we can give our patients the same opportunity across the hospital.”

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was awarded £249,000 for environmental improvements to Hammerton Court dementia care unit in Norwich, and Suffolk County Council, with several clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were awarded £960,000 to create dementia-friendly environments in Suffolk.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said the effect an unfamiliar hospital or care home environment had on the wellbeing of a person with dementia was often underestimated.

“Moving into a care home or spending time in hospital can be a difficult transition, and often the buildings and grounds are not laid out in a way that supports staff to deliver good quality care. Investment in pioneering projects that will create dementia-friendly environments within these care settings will play a vital part in helping to improve the care hospitals or care homes are able to provide.”

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