King’s Fund heaps praise on revamped ward

Posted on 5th January, 2012

Representatives from The King’s Fund have praised the work that has been undertaken to transform Belvedere ward at Franklyn Hospital in Exeter. Belvedere ward has 16 beds and provides care and treatment for people with mental illnesses such as dementia.  As part of a major £2.5m refurbishment of the two wards on the Franklyn Hospital site, Belvedere benefitted from a grant of £50k from the Department of Health as part of The King’s Fund national Enhancing the Healing Environment programme.    Following a recent visit to the ward, Sarah Waller (CBE), Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme Director, said:  “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to everyone who has been involved with this project – it has been a wonderful success.  We have been particularly impressed by the way in which people using the service, carers, staff, schools, community groups and the Devon Wildlife Trust have been involved in producing the artwork and pieces to prompt sensory stimulation.  I am sure that this specially designed environment will be of great therapeutic benefit to people using the service from across Devon.” The improvements at Franklyn Hospital are part of a wider investment of around £5m in hospital services for older people with mental health needs across the county that has also seen the recent re-opening of refurbished wards in Torbay and Barnstaple.  Carrie Clarke, an Occupational Therapist with Devon Partnership NHS Trust who has led the project, added:  “Evidence tells us that the environment in which we care for people is an incredibly important factor in the quality of care we deliver – especially for those people with conditions such as dementia.  Our aim with the new ward is to enable people to create a ‘sense of connection' - with themselves, with the place they are in and the places they have known, with their past and with other people. “The layout of the new ward, its artwork, photography and lighting all contribute to this sense of connection, creating a safe, stimulating environment which meets all of the national guidelines around privacy and dignity.  The early feedback from our staff, the people on the ward, their families and carers is excellent and we are delighted with the results.” The King’s Fund is a charitable organisation that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved, helping to shape policy and transform services.  For further information contact Peter Leggatt on 01392 208693.