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Plans have been unveiled for a £2.6m investment into a new state of the art dementia assessment unit at the Carleton Clinic in Carlisle Building work will commence in September to develop a 21st century facility for people with dementia. The new unit will provide 15 en-suite bedrooms in a calm, safe environment which will be innovatively designed to help people with dementia.
The current dementia assessment unit, Ruskin Unit, will be relocated to the Pennine Department on the Carleton Clinic site.
Valerie Provan, Nurse Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“I am excited by the prospect of re-developing Ruskin Unit. The new unit will be a contemporary facility offering numerous features to help dementia patients. For example the new unit will offer an enclosed external courtyard and garden spaces, social spaces that provide a comfortable and dignified environment to meet relatives and friends, and activity spaces to support independence in daily activities where possible. The activity spaces are designed help patients to maintain their existing skills and abilities.
The improvements will reduce the length of stay for patients, reduce the need for medication, and improve complex behaviour associated with dementia. With numbers of people with dementia set to keep rising, the new Ruskin Unit will really help the people of Carlisle and surrounding areas.”
The new Ruskin Unit will create a welcoming environment aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental ill health. There will be specific dementia features incorporated, including individual ‘memory boxes’ in which patients can put important sentimental items – such as wedding photographs, small soft toys, pictures of grandchildren and so on. This helps people with dementia to orientate themselves to their surroundings, feel safer and encourages memories.
Colours and themes will also be used to distinguish rooms. The Unit will offer a range of walks/ways for patients to use with no dead ends in corridors to reduce confusion.
The new unit will encourage integrated working with a co-located Memory Service and partner organisations (such as Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Adult Social Care). This will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for patients and carers to receive a range of advice, support and tailored treatments.
The new unit will include all the best practice requirements as advised by the Stirling University Guide and King’s Fund. It will benefit from the expertise gained from the recent redevelopment by Cumbria Partnership at Dane Garth in Barrow. Two short films showing the success of the Barrow facility can be seen on the Cumbria Partnership YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CPFTNHS