A project based at Southmead Hospital Bristol aims to improve the environments of the elderly and complex care wards to make them more dementia friendly. The project will draw on the expertise of designers, resident artists and staff to produce outcomes that aid navigation, support the personalisation of patient spaces, promote sociability and interaction and provide cognitive stimulation. The initial proposals and results will be on display at The Fresh Arts Festival during the 18 and 19 September.
During the research phase of the project, Willis Newson ran creative consultation sessions with patients and spoke to staff about their aspirations for improving the ward areas. The project also draws on resident artists Sue Mayfield and Ali Brown’s experience of running creative activities on wards.
Conversations revealed the value that creative sessions had on patients and ways in which changes to the physical environment could support the patient experience in the future. It also highlighted the potential to work with volunteers to deliver creative sessions for patients on the wards.
The project also aims to increase the skills and confidence of staff and volunteers by co-ordinating training from the Trust’s Dementia training network.
Another strand of the project is an exchange of ideas and good practice between the UK and Tsukuba University in Japan. Students from The University of West of England and Tskuba University have been given outline briefs to produce designs for key areas within the hospital. Their designs will be publicly displayed as part of the Fresh Arts Festival in September 2015.