A NEW ward to treat ill patients with dementia is taking shape ahead of its opening later this month.

Thanks to a £1m cash boost, work has been taking place since December last year to provide a more homely ‘Forget me not’ ward.

Changes include colour-coded doors for toilets and bays in an attempt to jog the patients’ memory of why they have got up in the middle of the night and creating areas where patients can sit and relax with their relatives or carers.

Lee Bushell, officer from Estates Capital Project, said: “There’s a lot of research around but a lot of people are saying there’s no real right or wrong answer.

“We hope the coloured doors will act as subtle reminder of where they were going if they get up in the middle of the night and we have used a wood flooring rather than a glossy surface which can appear uneven or reflective and frighten patients.”

Other changes have also included painting staff doors grey as well as the frames to stop patients from walking into areas they should not be and ensuring corridors are clutter-free.

A bus stop with a Warrington mural painted behind it and an area with a fire place have also been included so patients can get away from their bed and socialise as well as a quiet room playing slideshows of old holiday images and a garden to get away from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the ward.

Mr Bushell added:“The more mobile and active patients are, the quicker they recover and can be discharged.

“The bus stop is a nice focal point where staff can engage with patients and maybe offer them a cup of tea if they have missed their bus.

“We’re not treating them for dementia.

“They’re coming here with other acute illnesses and want an environment that wasn’t like a nursing home but more calm, homely environment than a hospital.”

WORK on the ward follows a positive report from national health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for Warrington Hospital’s care of patients with dementia.

The report released last week followed an unannounced inspection which found the trust met all three standards including care and welfare of people who use services, cooperating with other providers and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

Mel Pickup, chief executive, said: “We want our hospital to be a leader in this area of care.

“Dementia is affecting more and more people and when they need hospital care for illness or surgery not connected to their dementia we have to make sure that care is based around their individual needs.

“We can’t wait to open the ward which is very near completion now and will look fantastic – using innovative design, artwork and light to provide the very best environment.”

Inspectors added staff had received training specifically related to dementia care and the trust used 'This is me' - a document to provide a 'snapshot' of the person behind the dementia.