A hospital ward which was shut down because of low staffing levels and poor standards of care has re-opened after a refurbishment.
Gate 43 at Pinderfields Hospital was reopened to patients this week as a flagship elderly care ward specialising in the care of people with dementia.
The 41-bed ward was temporarily shut down at the end of March amid damaging revelations about low staffing levels and poor patient care.
Now 24 beds have been re-opened on Gate 43 after Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust launched a consultation with staff and patients to improve conditions.
Anita Ruckledge, the trust’s lead nurse for dementia care, said: “We are really proud of the work that has taken place to make this a better place to receive care.”
Experts from the Alzheimer’s society were consulted on the refurbishment, and staff were sent for in-depth training.
The ward includes colour-coded areas which help patients with dementia find their way around.
Seating in the corridors is made to resemble old fashioned cinema seats, and pictures of the Yorkshire countryside have been installed to evoke happy memories for people with memory loss.
And a “reminiscence room” is complete with a 1960s-style mural by artist Joanna Perry, retro furniture and memory boxes and copies of newspapers from the 1950s and 1960s.
An anonymous donation of £6,000 helped make the refurbishment possible.
The trust has also launched its Forget Me Not campaign to improve care for dementia patients.
A blue flower is placed above dementia patients’ beds, with theirs or their family’s permission, to make sure staff know they have the condition.
David Melia, interim director of patients and staff engagement at Mid Yorkshire, said: “This is the beginning of a bright new era for this ward.
Mid Yorkshire said more beds would be opened on the ward as more staff are recruited.