Johnstone’s Trade recently worked with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Hunters Architects to completely refurbish Derwent Ward, the hospital’s first purpose-designed, dementia-friendly area.
In the UK, a quarter of hospital beds are occupied by people over 65 who are living with dementia. At Kingston Hospital, this figure is closer to 50 per cent – however the existing cluttered and crowded ward space didn’t cater for the needs of the hospital’s patients who are living with dementia.
Looking for a fresh design that would support the well-being of both patients and staff, Kingston Hospital asked Johnstone’s Trade’s colour experts to develop a colour scheme that would reinvigorate its dementia-friendly ward.
Donna Taylor, Principle Technical Colour Consultant at Johnstone’s Trade, said: “Colour is a fundamental part of dementia-friendly environments. With semantic dementia, for example, people may need to rely on conceptual knowledge to identify places and objects – colour plays a key role in stimulating this recognition.
“As our eyes get older however, colour becomes less vivid. It’s therefore important to use bolder colours in dementia-friendly design to help patients recognise them more easily. There is a fine line though, as too much colour can be confusing and overwhelming for someone living with dementia.”
Working with Hunters Architects, the team at Johnstone’s Trade were asked to develope a highly specialised colour scheme.
Johnstone’s Trade’s design uses only six colours, specifically chosen for their contrasting light-reflective values. This carefully selected palette helps patients navigate their way around the ward and identify different rooms, bed spaces and doorways.
As well as offering advice about dementia-friendly colour and paint technology, Johnstone’s Trade has also provided products that are formulated to significantly increase the maintenance lifecycle of the ward.
Olivia Frimpong, Service Improvement Lead for Dementia at Kingston Hospital, commented: “Keeping the ward looking clean and fresh is really important as we want our patients to feel comfortable in their surroundings. This can be difficult in such busy hospital corridors so we needed paint that was durable enough to withstand the daily wear and tear of both patient and staff traffic – as well as any potential scuffs and damage from moving beds and other furniture around the ward.”
The team specified a number of Johnstone’s Trade’s coatings. The use of Water Based Satin, for example, means door frames and wall trims will stay whiter for longer, reducing the need for future upkeep and disruption to the ward. This was used alongside Johnstone’s Trade’s Acrylic Durable Matt emulsion designed to provide resilience for interior walls and ceilings.
In addition, Johnstone’s Trade’s Microbarr Anti-Bacterial Acrylic paint was used within the ward.
To complement Johnstone’s Trade’s colour scheme, Hunters Architects created a refurbishment plan that focused entirely on dementia-friendly design. Human-centric LED lighting has been installed, which automatically adjusts to suit the time of day and provides a soothing, homely atmosphere for patients. Five new social spaces have also been introduced to encourage patients away from their bedside and to accommodate relatives and carers. Rationalisation of equipment stores and provision of local consumable storage has decluttered corridors, creating clear spaces that will support patients through their treatment and help them to cope with the daily challenges of living with dementia.
The finished ward is described by visitors as a calm and open space. Commenting on the completed design, Olivia Frimpong said: “The changes have completely transformed the quality of care offered to patients. The new ward is bold and bright with fantastic open spaces that help both staff and patients move around freely. The quieter, more intimate rooms have a real homely feel that is familiar for our patients and helps them to feel comfortable on the ward. We hope that this level of care and accommodation will soon be available to everyone living with dementia.”
The finished project was a finalist at the Dementia Friendly Awards last year, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society.