More than a hundred hospitals and care homes across England have been awarded a share of a £50 million fund to create pioneering care environments designed for the needs of people with dementia.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced details of the 116 successful projects during a visit to the award winning dementia ward at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ were selected to receive £955,490 to fund their project ‘Designing the Dementia Journey – a holistic approach to the environment for people with dementia’, which will support the hospital’s existing care provision for dementia patients.
The ward features a specially designed ward environment, including colour-coded bays and symbols to help patients remember their way back to their bed, using blue wristbands for dementia patients so staff can easily identify them, and serving food in red meal trays and jugs as a sign to staff that these patients need support with eating and drinking.
Jeremy Hunt said:
“There is little doubt that our home and work environment has an important impact upon our day to day lives – and our care environment is no exception.
“We can encounter any number of places and spaces in one day, and yet for someone with advanced dementia even walking from one room to another can be difficult. This pilot scheme will form an important first step towards driving forward better care environments for people with dementia.”
A total of 116 projects have been granted funding – 42 projects in the NHS, including hospital wards, and 74 in a local authority setting, including care homes. The call for submissions was initially launched in October 2012.
The projects will form part of the first national pilot to showcase the best examples of dementia friendly environments across England, to build evidence of the type of changes that have the most benefit for dementia patients.