New dementia centre welcomes first patients
Today, Monday, 25 November, sees the opening of a new £10 million state-of-the-art building which will provide in-patient dementia care for the people of Sunderland and South Tyneside.
This new dementia centre at Monkwearmouth Hospital will also work closely with community services including the Memory Protection Services, challenging behaviour and community mental health teams and day hospitals to provide an integrated pathway of care.
The first patients to use the new building were transferred to its two wards, Roker for male patients and Mowbray for female patients, which replace two 12-bed wards currently located at Cherry Knowle Hospital.
Designed by Medical Architecture and built by Laing O’Rourke, the construction also received input from the University of Stirling Dementia Services Development Centre, a world leader on the design of services and environments for people with dementia.
This new building is part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, NHS Foundation Trust’s Pride Project, the Trust’s £60 million scheme which includes the development of the new Hopewood Park development in Ryhope.
Patients will now be able to enjoy en-suite rooms, communal areas, attractive courtyards with gardening activities, a putting green and occupational therapy rooms.
There is a memory walk and vintage memorabilia including sporting and lifestyle themed items which will help patients recall important memories.
Patients will have access to an events room which features a cinema, as well as flexible space for carers support groups and other community based groups.
The building also features a recreation kitchen to help them with daily tasks like making a cup of tea and cooking activities and also a traditional barber’s shop and hairdressers.
Heather Pearce, Deputy Ward Manager, said: “The new building is tremendous and we are all looking forward to introducing our patients and their carers to this state-of-the-art ward.
“Providing the right environment is crucial to the wellbeing of people with dementia and our new unit is a huge step forward. It can only have positive benefits for the people we care for and their families as it can be a very stressful time for them when they are in hospital.”