Creating calm for patients
Specialist treatment rooms for elderly and confused patients have been set up at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The two dementia rooms have been redecorated in soothing colours and have pictures of old Leicester scenes on the walls.
There are also chairs available so that family, carers or friends can sit with the patients.
Billi Hamnett, emergency department sister, who has been the driving force behind the project, said: "Patients with dementia can get confused and distressed when they're not in familiar surroundings.
"These rooms provide a calm environment for them while they are being treated, away from the busy emergency department."
The rooms have been named the Jubilee Rooms because they were completed during the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
There is one room in the main accident and emergency department at the infirmary where patients are first admitted.
There is also a bay with two beds in the emergency frailty unit to which patients may be transferred if they need more treatment.
The bay can also be used to provide a quiet area.
Ms Hamnett said: "We have taken everything clinical out of both areas and painted each in the same neutral colour, a lilac which is meant to be soothing.
"We have put pictures of old Leicester on the walls and in both areas there is a CD player so patients can listen to familiar music.
"It provides a safe environment and lessens stress for patients.
"The identical settings provide some continuity and familiarity for patients if they need to be moved.
"A lot of training in looking after elderly patients has also taken place."
Another change is that patients are all called by their title, such as Mr and Mrs rather than by their given names.
Ms Hamnett said: "This is about treating people with respect."
The cost of the scheme so far has been about £300 which was donated by the Forget Me Not Appeal, set up by former Lord Mayor of Leicester Colin Hall to improve dementia care.
Security staff and nurses at the hospital are trying to raise more than £2,000 to buy an electric bed for the specialist room in the accident and emergency department.
Ms Hamnett said: "Ideally, we would like to have lots more rooms like this if we had the space because the number of elderly patients is growing. We can also use the area for younger patients suffering from dementia caused by alcohol."
Carole Ribbins, director of nursing at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, officially opened the Jubilee Rooms yesterday.
She said: "We are always looking for new ways to improve patient care and meet the changing needs of our ageing population.
"It is fantastic that we now have these designated treatment areas for some of our most vulnerable patients."
Tony Donovan, executive director of Age UK Leicester, said: "I am delighted with the opening of the dementia rooms.
"I am confident that this is an initiative that will bring great benefit to the many people using them."