Facilities designed to help patients with dementia
Great British Bake Off judge, Mary Berry, was the guest of honour at the opening of a new café and garden at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
We know that beautiful, natural environments reduce levels of agitation and stress and so speed up the process of recovery from whatever illness brought them into hospital
She cut the ribbon to the light and airy new £400,000 Friends Coffee Shop, designed by Bristol-based architects, O’LearyGoss.
During her visit, she also spent time in a newly-completed sensory garden that adjoins Combe Ward – an older person’s unit with high intake of patients with dementia.
The new garden, also designed by O’LearyGoss , comes complete with birdsong and a garden shed, which was specially designed to make patients feel calm and safe.
Architect, Edwin Hill, said: “Mary was delighted with the café and garden, as were patients, families and volunteer helpers.
“Our brief was to ensure the cafe felt warm and welcoming. We used warm tactile fragrant wood, stained glass, and lots of light open space for the café and terrace, which has outside seating.
TV judge, Mary Berry, was guest of honour at the opening
“The calm sensory garden, designed by Alex Fraser, has perfumed plants and a circular pathway connecting the space seamlessly to Combe Ward.”
The work follows the £500,000 redesign of Combe Ward, which was carried out last year. It has been converted into a 26-bay unique holistic environment, specifically designed to be truly dementia-friendly.
O’LearyGoss also led the ward redesign. The aim was to help elderly patients – in particular those with dementia – to feel both stimulated by their surroundings and at home with décor, which included domestic-feel furniture, wood-effect flooring, a piano, fireplace, living area and nature artwork.
Hill said: “The café and garden were a great addition to work we have already completed at the hospital. We learnt a lot from working with ward staff and the hospital’s project team.”
Consultant geriatrician, Dr Chris Dyer, said: “The improvements to Combe Ward last year have had a significant impact on the experience of patients there.
“The new garden will add to that and provide a wonderful therapeutic area for patients, especially those with dementia. We know that beautiful, natural environments reduce levels of agitation and stress and so speed up the process of recovery from whatever illness brought them into hospital.”