Dementia is a condition that affects Kingston Hospital more than most, as it serves an area that has one of the highest life expectancies in the country. Nearly half of its inpatients over the age of 75 have confirmed or suspected dementia which is double the national average.
With an increasingly ageing population, Kingston Hospital is only going to be caring for more patients with dementia. In response, it has implemented a strategy to ensure it has the right staff, environment, care pathways, support and systems in place to provide patients and their families with the best possible experience when they are being looked after at Kingston Hospital.
A key part of this strategy, which was developed after consulting many patients, staff, carers, relatives, community organisations and the voluntary sector, is a commitment to transform its three elderly care wards, so that they are completely dementia friendly - safe, homely and comfortable social and therapeutic environments that facilitate all types of functioning.
The transformation of Derwent Ward was completed in November 2016, largely thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Mayor of Kingston, Roy Arora, in 2015-16. The dementia friendly elements associated with the refurbishment of Derwent Ward aim to: promote patients’ orientation; ensure patient safety and reduce falls; enable stimulation and social interaction; and support relatives and carers.