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TitleDeveloping supportive design for people with - The King's Fund
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

Improving the
patient experience

Developing Supportive
Design for People with
Dementia

The King’s Fund’s
Enhancing the
Healing Environment
Programme 2009-2012

Page 2

1

Improving the patient
experience

Developing Supportive Design
for People with Dementia

The King’s Fund’s
Enhancing the
Healing Environment
Programme
2009-2012

Page 55

54

Developing Supportive Design for People with Dementia

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
This redesign focused on recovery, reducing anxiety, improving appetite
and sleep through an attractive design that incorporates colour-coded bed
bays, photographic artwork and improved wayfinding

Initially, the team decided to concentrate
on improving the single rooms in this 24-
bedded medical ward, although it hoped
also to make some improvements to the
bed bays. However, following discussions
and the launch of its ‘Dignity in Dementia’
campaign, team members decided to seek
additional capital funding from the trust to
enable them to improve the entire ward.

The redesign centred on the importance
of nature, art, decoration, colour and
light, and the impact that these can have
on recovery, on reducing anxiety, and on
improving appetite and sleep patterns.
Part-way through the project, the team
members decided to change their designer
because they felt their original choice was
not able to interpret their brief. This was a
brave decision, and happily they appointed
another designer, who saw the project
through to completion.

After consultation, the team identified four
themes for the scheme, each linked to
the local area, including countryside and
seascapes. They then chose photographic
artwork to reflect these themes and provide
points for discussion and reminiscence.
Colours were chosen to reflect each theme,
and these were then used as accent colours
to aid orientation and create a calming,
therapeutic environment.

Natural wood-effect flooring is now laid
throughout the ward, providing a lighter and
more open feeling, while new lighting allows
staff to adjust lighting levels as required. The
approach to the ward has been de-cluttered
and visitors are now greeted by a beautiful
floor-to-ceiling image of a bluebell wood.

The nurses’ station has been replaced with
a smaller welcome desk, with a comfortable
seating area behind, showing visitors
clearly where to go when they first enter the
ward. An underused bathroom has been
redesigned as a recessed storage area for
notes and equipment. This doubles up as
a small workstation for clinical staff, while
dropdown desks are provided in the ward
for staff to write notes.

Each bay has been colour coded, with the
same shade used for circles on the doors,
panels between each of the beds, tabletops,
accent walls and blinds. Sliding panels allow
staff to hide patient details above the beds
when these are not required, protecting
confidentiality and promoting dignity. New,
larger glass panels in the doors allow
patients to see where they are going.

All the toilet doors have been painted yellow
and have text and picture signage to aid
wayfinding. The colours used inside the
rooms are reflected in the door surrounds,
shelves and memory boxes that are
provided for patients to put their favourite
objects in.

Bournemouth University contributed to the
scheme, along with many community
groups, and the team continues to
use every opportunity to publicise
its dementia services through
the campaign and associated
fundraising. The trust now sees
the ward as an example of
good practice, and will use it
to guide future refurbishment
programmes.

“Be prepared to
become passionate
about your project!
It’s amazing how
important it becomes
to you. Enthusiasm
and passion really
help drive the project
forward.”
Team leader

“I am extremely proud
of what we have
achieved. The ward is
a triumph, and I hope
that our ideas will be
used throughout the
hospital to carry on
our good work.”
PPI representative

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55

Section

“The newly designed
ward is already
making a huge

difference to our
patients and staff.”

Head of
communications

“This project has
really enabled me

to adopt a ‘can do’
attitude with regard

to putting forward
new ideas within the

workplace.”
Occupational therapist

“I couldn’t believe
it when I saw it. It’s

like going into a
posh hotel. It cheers

people up no end.”
Patient

Before

Project summaries

Page 109

108

Developing Supportive Design for People with Dementia

Marshall M (2010). ‘Environment: how it helps to see dementia as a disability’. Journal of
Dementia Care, vol 6, no 1, pp 15–17.

Medical Architecture Research Unit (2003). Evaluation of the King’s Fund’s Enhancing the
Healing Environment Programme. London: Department of Health.

Medical Research Council (2008). Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions: New
guidance. London: Medical Research Council.

National Audit Office (2010). Improving Dementia Services in England: An interim report.
London: NAO.

NHS Confederation (2010). Acute Awareness: Improving hospital care for people with
dementia. London: NHS Confederation.

NHS Institute (2012). The Right Care: Creating dementia friendly hospitals. London: NHS
Institute.

Nightingale F (1863). Notes on Hospitals. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and
Green.

Royal College of Nursing (2011). Commitment to the Care of People With Dementia in
General Hospitals. London: RCN.

Royal College of Psychiatrists (2011) Report of the National Audit of Dementia Care in
General Hospitals. London: RCP.

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (2009). Evaluation of the Enhancing the Healing
Environment Prison Pilots Programme. London: SCMH, unpublished.

Sue Ryder Centre (2010). Environments of Care at End of Life: Evaluation of The King’s Fund
Enhancing the Healing Environment programme. Nottingham: University of Nottingham

Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment/The King’s Fund (2010). Principles of Hospice
Design. London: The King’s Fund.

Waller S, Finn H (2011). Environments for Care at End of Life: The King’s Fund’s Enhancing
the Healing Environment programme 2008–2010. London: The King’s Fund.

Waller S, Dewar S, Masterson A, Finn H (2008). Improving Environments for Care at End of
Life: Lessons from eight pilot sites. London: The King’s Fund.

Ulrich RS (2001). ‘Effects of healthcare environmental design on medical outcomes’ in Dilani
A (ed), Design and Health: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Health
and Design. Stockholm, Sweden: Svensk Byggtjanst, pp 49–59.

Zekry D, Hermann FR, Grandjean R, Vitale AM, De Pinho MF, Michel JP, Gold G, Krause KH
(2009). ‘Does dementia predict adverse hospitalization outcomes? A prospective study in
aged inpatients’. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol 24, no 3, pp 283–91.

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