Dementia friendly unit opens at West Heath Hospital 21 July 2014

A new dementia-friendly care unit has been opened at West Heath Hospital in Birmingham. The innovative new facility – designed to provide a stepping stone back to independent living for patients who have been admitted to hospital but suffer with dementia – was developed by Birmingham and Solihull LIFT (BaS LIFT) and their private sector partner Prime, in conjunction with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust (BCHC).

The new intermediate care unit at West Heath incorporates some of the latest principles in dementia-friendly design to provide a modern, rehabilitative environment for up to 18 older patients. Located within an existing building in the heart of the hospital site, the major refurbishment has been funded by the Department of Health’s Kings Fund – an independent charity which helps shape policy and best practice in healthcare.

Prime helped the Trust to secure almost £1m in funding for the creation of the dementia friendly unit through the King’s Fund. Money has been made available through the fund for care environments – such as hospitals and care homes – to become more supportive for people with dementia.

Ben Gwilliam, Development Director at Prime said: “For us, the project at West Heath Hospital has been both challenging and rewarding. We helped to secure funding with the Trust for the new unit in June 2013 and work started onsite in November. It was a tight turnaround for such a comprehensive refurbishment but the end result is great – a real credit to the hospital and a valuable asset in the care they offer for older patients.”

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