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Refurbishment of elderly care wards

The medicine for older people department at University Hospital Southampton is an innovative, award winning and nationally recognised department for people over the age of 65 admitted to hospital following a sudden health crisis.

Because Bill is never just a heart conditionSince 2014 we’ve seen an increase of about 1,000 more patients annually, and these patients are living longer with multiple health conditions. Care for older people is complicated as it is not just about treating the physical medical condition, as it would be in a younger patient, but also dealing with the longer term effects of the condition and old age. This requires specialist care and expertise. 

At UHS we provide holistic care and don’t just treat the condition for which a patient has been admitted, but all the issues that accompany them. Staff try to keep patients as mobile and independent as possible, ensuring that they have the help and support to live healthy lives when they leave hospital. 

We aim to reduce the length of time that patients are in hospital by getting them mobile, providing a stimulating environment and properly understanding any care needs they may have. The longer a patient is in hospital, the increased likelihood is that they will develop an infection or become immobile through loss of muscle function or independence. 

In 2017 the department provided care to over 4,700 patients from across Southampton and the surrounding areas.


Because John is never just an ulcerHelp us to place patients at the heart of everything we do by creating a world class department for the care of older people. 
Through innovative IT solutions and refurbishment works, we hope to keep patients mobile, stimulated and safe throughout their hospital stay and set them up to return to their home/care home. 

Maintaining muscle mass and functional independence 

Through the redevelopment of traditional therapy approaches, we hope to encourage patients to move and maintain their muscle mass during a prolonged hospital stay.  A refurbishment of existing therapy spaces, including the gym and kitchen, will make these environments more welcoming for patients, and easier for staff to use.   
Artwork down the length of the departments’ main corridor will encourage patients to “visit” certain zones, for example “beach zone” or the “meadow zone” during a therapy session. 

Looking after people with confusion

As many as 50% of patients who come to the hospital can be described as being in a confused state, with a number of these suffering from dementia.

What we hope a ward refurbishment will offer is the encouragement of an established routine and familiarity which in turn will aid recovery. We want to fund full electronic orientation displays with the day, date and time which will be visible from all bed spaces, dementia friendly games and activities that will help our patients to be actively entertained and stimulated which in turn reduces their agitation and anxiety. 

A hospital environment; with its noise, bright lights and constant activity, can be particularly disruptive for those with dementia or suffering from confusion. The current department does not offer much relief from this sensory over-stimulation. 
Because Ruby is never just a diagnosisThe use of dementia friendly signage, which is bold and contrasts with its background, as well as electronic orientation displays, will help patients to navigate the department and aid reorientation within the unfamiliar hospital environment. 

Providing dignified care

Help us to provide dignified care for those who are approaching their last illness with privacy, by providing a comfortable and private death in an end of life care bay. This new bay will enable staff to give patients and their families a quiet space in which to say goodbye. Staff will also be able to make patients comfortable, reducing their pain, and giving them privacy. 

Over the next five years this department is expected to see a 35% rise in admission due to the ageing population. 

Help us to revolutionise the care which is given to our elderly patients.

Call Southampton Hospital Charity on 023 8120 8881 to support our elderly care project. 


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