Dementia-friendly unit, West Heath

Dementia-friendly unit, West Heath

West Heath, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


NHS capital

This refurbishment project was funded by an NHS capital award made by the Department of Health. It has transformed a ward at West Heath Hospital, Birmingham into a new 18-bed intermediate care facility for patients who have been admitted to hospital but suffer with dementia.

Incorporating some of the latest principles in dementia-friendly design, the unit was developed by Prime for local LIFTCo Birmingham and Solihull LIFT (BaS LIFT), in conjunction with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust (BCHC).

Prime worked closely with BCHC to secure almost £1m in funding through the Department of Health’s King’s Fund, using its specialist development and healthcare planning expertise to build a strong case for the project.

With a total refurbishment required – only the roof, floor pad and foundations remained – Prime used its extensive project management expertise to co-ordinate the contractor and design team to deliver a successful scheme.

The unit features six private en-suite rooms, and three, four-bed bays, as well as an open plan kitchen, dining area, living room, break out spaces and therapeutic garden. The use of colour, contrasting wall and floor finishes, therapeutic lighting, simple signage and easy to use taps, showers and light switches all help patients to live as independently as possible while recuperating and preparing to go home.

We have been able to create a facility which provides a stimulating and rehabilitative environment to help reduce the length of stay for dementia patients admitted to the hospital, and ensure their independence is maintained so they are able to return home.”

Jennifer Hurn, Healthcare Director, Prime plc