King's College Hospital opens dedicated dementia ward

Trust is first in country to create bespoke facilities

Marjory Warren Ward at King’s College Hospital is the first dedicated dementia ward in the country

King’s College Hospital has become the first NHS facility in the country to create a dedicated dementia ward.

Marjory Warren Ward, part of King’s College Hospital’s King’s Health and Ageing Unit, has 30 beds and offers single-sex accommodation. There is also a sensory room, non-slip flooring and mood lighting.

Key to the redesign of the ward – led by IBI Nightingale - was artwork, which has been used to provide clear signage to help with orientation. This includes a panorama of the London skyline as seen from the ward, with key buildings and locations highlighted.

The idea of drawing the 360-degree city skyline came from the nursing team who said that patients feel disorientated in hospital and need to know where they are in relation to where they live.

The frieze is the view seen from the ward and features details of the skyline as far out as Canary Wharf, Hampstead, Wembley, Battersea Power Station, to Crystal Palace and the Surrey Hills.

The work was carried out by ArtInSite. A spokesman for the consultancy said: “The frieze was prompted by the disorientation and rapid decline of dementia patients when they are admitted to hospital. Patients became lost easily and have difficulties identifying their own beds.

“Our brief was to combine art and wayfinding in a therapeutic approach that would support patients during their stay on the ward.

“We worked with a palette of colours to make each bedroom and bed bay more distinctive and individual. We also designed door totems and bedheads featuring numbers at a scale that is easy to read, natural imagery, and colour to co-ordinate with the feature wall colour.”

Artwork is key to the design of the ward

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