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Local charity helps make local hospital more dementia friendly

24/09/2018

The official charity for the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust are celebrating another step in achieving an even more dementia friendly environment in the Trust’s hospitals.

The Health Tree Foundation (HTF) has funded dementia friendly signage as part of a Trust wide appeal to make Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Goole hospitals more dementia friendly.

The Trust’s estates team alongside the HTF and Signs Express in Grimsby, assistant director of nursing Mel Graves and quality matron for dementia Rachel Greenbeck, have created and designed signage which has been placed around the hospitals.

The signs, which have cost almost £9,000, have been placed on all toilets, bathrooms and shower rooms throughout the Trust. This includes wards, outpatient departments, x-ray as well as other departments within the hospitals. The signs have also been placed in the main entrance where patients and visitors access the toilets. The only area where signs have not been placed is the staff toilets to save confusion for patients.

The signage is clear, mounted at eye level onto doors, has both words and a picture and contrasts with the background it is placed on to stand out.

People generally take signage for granted and don’t think too much about how it supports them in their daily lives. For those living with dementia, it can be particularly difficult to understand general day-to-day signage and they may require additional aids which are not always available to them.

Rachel said: “Well designed and well placed signage, particularly in hospitals, can play a fundamental role in reducing distress, maintaining independence, wayfinding and improving overall wellbeing.

“Using signage designed specifically for people living with dementia gives them maximum opportunity to find their way around the hospitals and ensure simple tasks such as going to the toilet can be accomplished on their own.”

Ellie Rodger, project officer, said: “It’s great to see all the toilet, shower, bathroom and changing room signs Trust wide being consistent – especially knowing they are improving the hospital environment and patient experience for dementia patients.”

The dementia signage will continue to be added to and used throughout the hospitals for any renovations or developments that may take place in the future.

Rachel added: “There is the obvious advantage the signage guides dementia patients to their designated place but not only that, it also minimises anxiety and promotes self-confidence which is so important.”

Charity manager for HTF, Victoria Winterton, said: “I’d really like to thank all of our fundraisers and those who have donated because without those people, it would not be possible for us to do this.”

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