Larch Ward at Barnet Hospital has been transformed into a dementia-friendly environment for elderly people.

There are three bed bays which are each clearly defined by a theme: beach, countryside or London. Different primary colours will give patients a sense of place and create an environment that is easier to navigate. There are also skylights in each of the bays.

The ward, which is for patients aged 80 or over, has enhanced lighting and signage, clearly visible calendars, day/night clocks and positioned grab rails. Wood flooring has been laid, as lino can appear wet or slippery to dementia patients. The communal area has a ‘tip tree’ table in place, which is brightly coloured and set out with activities and drinks to help the patients stay hydrated.

This area is further enhanced with its own colour theme as well as a clock, calendar and wall mounted television.

The £300k funding for the project was kicked-off by a charitable donation from the Mayor of Barnet who, during his term of office in 2012, donated £46,000 to Barnet Hospital dementia care as one of his chosen charities.

Ward sister Kate Hennessey said: “These changes will make a real difference to patients on Larch Ward. Not all of our patients have dementia, but many of them do.

"The whole ward looks so nice, it will help staff, patients and visitors feel so much calmer and this will help patient recovery."

Further photos of Larch ward are available in our gallery.


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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.