Service users, from across the South East, will receive high levels of both physical and mental health care and will often have responded poorly in previous placements or been long-term mental health patients who have become physically frail.
The aim will be to safely manage their conditions and improve the quality life with the potential for some to step-down to nursing care.
A multi-disciplinary clinical team led by renowned neuropsychiatrist Dr Andres Fonseca will include a neuropsychologist, specialist occupational therapist to deliver sensory and exploratory activities and music therapy, a speech and language therapist and a physiotherapist. The Windsor Ward will also utilise the skills of both general and mental health nurses.
The environment, which will embrace the King’s Fund guidelines, will be conducive to the service users’ well-being, providing a calm and healing environment that enhances orientation.
Dementia signposting, memory boxes on bedroom doors, a sensory room and garden, quiet lounge and dining area designed like a café are among the specialised features. Orientation will be enhanced through the use of high contrast to enable individuals with visual impairment to navigate the environment. The service uses pictures of local landmarks to enhance orientation.
Dr Andres Fonseca said: “This is a very exciting new service, designed to enhance the lives of a group of individuals that fall through the gaps of existing services. We are providing a much needed service for individuals and their families. We are also responding to the requirements of our local commissioners.
“We have aimed for a hotel-like feel rather than a hospital. It is the small things that make all the difference, for example all the bedroom furniture has windows in to prompt memory of what is contained in drawers and wardrobes. This is vitally important for someone who is cognitively impaired.
“Windsor Ward will embrace Dementia Care Mapping, a proven approach to achieving and embedding person-centred care for people with dementia, which is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. All staff will be specially trained and a range of evidence-based non-drug interventions will be employed.
“Everything will be geared towards cognitive stimulation and enabling the people in our care to live as fulfilling lives as possible.”