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Gloucestershire Business News

Ambitious plans revealed at opening of new £4.5m dementia ward

Patients and staff have moved into a new £4.5m dementia ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

And bosses have revealed plans to further improve the Gallery Wing which cares for some of the county's most vulnerable patients.

The newly unveiled Gallery Ward 2 is a 24-bed specialist unit providing care for the elderly with complex needs.

It includes colour coded beds and ensuites and specific flooring to avoid confusion and help dementia patients navigate their way around.

The ward has four four-bedded bays, eight side rooms, a lift, staff room bedside USB portals for electronic devices and the latest technology to monitor patients.

Professor Mark Pietroni, medical director and interim chief executive at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the new ward gave patients the best opportunity to live as independently as possible.

Dr Sangeeta Kulkarni, consultant geriatrician, said: "A great deal of care and thought gone into how the ward has been built so that it best suits the needs of our patients.

"Each bay has been colour coded so patients who may walk away from their beds can navigate back much more easily. The floors are matt vinyl because shiny floors or floors with speckles in them are known to confuse and disorientate dementia patients."

Patients and staff have already settled in and Gloucestershire Managed Services (GMS) has taken control of the non-clinical running of the site.

It provides catering, cleaning, portering, maintenance and other assistance for Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospital.

Keith Hamer, managing director of GMS, said: "We are continuing to play an important role in supporting better patient care and enabling the Trust to deliver on its 'centres of excellence' vision,."

The new ward is part of a £100million development program at Gloucestershire Hospitals which has seen a £6.5m revamp of the radiology department at Cheltenham General Hospital and £1m Medical Same Day Emergency Care unit at Gloucestershire Royal completed.

Work is now underway on a £17.2million surgical complex  at Cheltenham General Hospital which is set to open in the new year and help deal with the pandemic backlog of operations.

Dr Kulkarni said bosses at Gallery Wing now have "a very ambitious vision" to develop its services further by modernising the ground floor and floor one of Gallery Wing.

They house a multi-disciplinary unit which helps prepare patients to return home by involving them in activities and providing support from a therapist, social worker, specialist nurse, pharmacist and dietitian.

She said: "This would be a dedicated centre providing the most specialist of care to some of the most vulnerable and poorly patients in our community."

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