Fareham Community Hospital has become the first community hospital in the Fareham and Gosport CCG area to achieve dementia-friendly status, delivering dedicated patient and carer services for over 3,000 patients with the disease in the area.
Supported by CHP as head tenant, a project group including representatives of NHS Fareham and Gosport CCG, Solent Community Solutions, the Alzheimer’s Society, Friends of Fareham Community Hospital and NHS Property Services, has worked to provide a Dementia Friendly environment and launch a pilot dementia support service.
The successful pilot of a weekly dementia support group and advice service was launched at the hospital in February 2015.
The service provides tailored information and advice to help people 'live well' with dementia, including providing help in accessing services.
The support group provides patients and carers with the opportunity to chat, share stories and listen to music.
Launched by the Alzheimer’s Society with support from NHS Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, these dual services provide valuable support for people with dementia, and their families and carers.
Emphasising the need for such services, dementia adviser Kellyn Weir said: “A diagnosis of dementia can be a daunting and bewildering experience and many people don’t know what support is available or how to access it.
"From the beginning of someone’s journey with dementia right the way through the condition - dementia advisers are there to provide information in the right way, at the right time and signpost people to relevant support.”
Due to the positive response from patients and carers, this successful pilot has been extended until March 2016, when a decision will be made on it becoming a permanent service.
The hospital has been audited to identify the estates changes needed to make the care environment more dementia-friendly, considering the impact of signage, wayfinding, texture, colour and design to dementia patients. The bathroom furniture at Fareham has been changed to avoid visual confusion for patients by providing colour contrasts. Future life-cycling changes have also been identified for areas such as flooring, to ensure future materials are not confusing and disorientating.
Staff at the hospital have also been trained in dementia awareness.
"Dementia advisers are there to provide information in the right way, at the right time and signpost people to relevant support.”Kellyn Weir, Dementia Adviser
Following the successful pilot and implementation of dedicated Dementia Friendly facilities and services in Fareham, the initiative is to be extended in 2016 to two further CHP buildings in the region - the Gosport Medical Centre and the Oak Park Community Clinic in Havant.