Older people’s wards re-open after £2.5m refurbishment

Posted on 21st November, 2011

Devon Partnership NHS Trust has announced the re-opening of the two wards at Franklyn Hospital in Exeter following the completion of a £2.5m refurbishment programme.  The improvements 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 re-opening of refurbished wards in Torbay and Barnstaple during recent weeks.  Belvedere ward (formerly called Westleigh) has 16 beds and will provide care and treatment for people from all over the county with an organic mental illness, such as dementia.  The refurbishment of this ward has benefited from a grant from the King's Fund's Enhancing the Healing Environment programme and been supported with artwork from the Devon Wildlife Trust and a number of other local sources, including schools. The neighbouring Rougemont ward also has 16 beds and will provide care and treatment for people with a functional mental illness, such as depression, anxiety or psychosis.  The refurbished wards will start to admit people within the next few weeks. The Trust’s Clinical Director for Older People’s Mental Health Services, Dr David Somerfield, said:  “We have waited a long time to have state-of-the-art hospital facilities across the county in which to care for older people with the highest levels of need.  Our staff do a sterling job but their dedication and commitment has, until now, not been matched by the quality of the physical environments in which they have had to work. “Along with our other two newly-refurbished wards in Torbay and Barnstaple, Belvedere and Rougemont will enable us to provide high quality care in a light, modern, purpose-built environment.  En suite rooms will ensure people’s privacy and dignity and there are excellent outdoor areas.  The grant from the King’s Fund has enabled us to install some fantastic artwork to prompt sensory stimulation on Belvedere ward and the proximity of the two wards to each other provides additional safety, as specialist nursing staff will be on-hand to provide support very quickly if and when needed.” Carrie Mason, of Devon Wildlife Trust, added:  “We are very pleased to be involved in this unique project.  We worked with people using the service, and their families and carers, to select a wide range of wildlife photographs from all over the county for Belvedere ward and we are delighted with the results.”  For further information contact Peter Leggatt on 01392 208693.