Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home > About us > News > News archive > 2014 > Russell Grant predicts a positive future for dementia care at West Middlesex University Hospital

Russell Grant predicts a positive future for dementia care at West Middlesex University Hospital

24 January 2014

Middlesex-born television celebrity Russell Grant took time out from his busy schedule to visit a newly refurbished dementia-friendly ward at West Middlesex University Hospital this week.

Middlesex-born television celebrity Russell Grant took time out from his busy schedule to visit a newly refurbished dementia-friendly ward at West Middlesex University Hospital this week.

Russell has long campaigned on dementia issues as his grandmother had Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia. He is an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and an ardent supporter of Alzheimer’s ResearchUK, helping to raise funds for both charities as well as increasing awareness of their work.

Crane ward has been the hospital’s main acute care of the elderly ward for treating older patients for a number of years. During 2013 the ward was refurbished to make it more dementia-friendly thanks to a £99,000 grant from the Department of Health and a further £10,000 from Bouygues Energies & Services. It reopened at the end of last year and has already shown noticeable improvements for patients’ wellbeing.

DrRavneeta Singh, consultant in care of the elderly and stroke medicine at the hospital, said: “At any given time around half of all inpatients at the hospital will be older people, aged 75 and above, and we would typically expect half of these to have dementia/delirium or both. Our vision is to improve care for all dementia/ delirium patients through a range of initiatives. We have worked hard to create an environment here that will reduce anxiety and we have already seen that dementia/delirium patients on the ward are less agitated and appear calmer and more relaxed.”

During his visit, Russell was given a guided tour of the ward and shown some of the key features it incorporates including:

  • The environment promotes meaningful interaction between patients, their families and staff. The ward, unlike other wards at the hospital, has its own dedicated social area for patients and their families to use with a TV, kitchen and dinning area, comfy chairs and tables. This area is designed to have a homely, rather than clinical, feel to it so that patients feel more relaxed. There are also additional seating areas on the ward so patients can sit away from their beds. The ward has a central reception desk so families find it easy to get access to staff.
  • The ward promotes wellbeing. Colours have been chosen that are calming and there is artwork linked to nature as recommended by studies on enhancing the healing environment by the Kings Fund. Lighting in the day room area is adjustable to make it even more relaxing.
  • The environment encourages eating and drinking. It can be difficult to motivate dementia patients to eat and drink and so the ward incorporates a number of features to help with this. The day room has a kitchen area so that patients and their relatives have independent access to hot and cold drinks and to prepare snacks as well as a dining area for their use. Crockery and glassware have been chosen to be familiar in design for patients.
  • The environment promotes mobility. As dementia patients can quickly lose their mobility the ward has been designed to encourage patients to remain mobile. This includes special flooring throughout the ward, handrails in corridors, and more space to walk around in. There are seating areas so that patients can take a rest and points of interest such as artwork to encourage patients to explore the ward.

Russell also met pupils fromSpringwellJuniorSchoolwho created some special pieces of artwork for the ward, which it is hoped will help to stimulate patients and provoke conversation.

Commenting on his visit Russell Grant said: “I am very honoured to be opening this ward; as any improvements in dementia care are very close to my heart. I’ve seen the devastating effects first hand. I watched as Alzheimer’s slowly robbed my grandmother of her dignity and her personality, until we didn’t recognise her anymore. It broke my heart to see this big-hearted, jovial lady - whose Middlesex house I was born in - turn into a confused, angry person.

“I hope that one day a cure will be found but in the meantime from what I have seen and heard today it is encouraging to know that local people with dementia will benefit from ongoing improvements here at West Middlesex.”