Kingston Hospital re-opened its third elderly care ward on Tuesday (January 7) after refurbishing it into a more dementia-friendly environment.

Staff and patients met and celebrated the re-opening of Kennet Ward at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on the day.

The reopening followed a £650,000 funding boost from the Kingston Hospital Charity that has helped refurbish three elderly care wards on site.

Your Local Guardian: Kennet Ward, Kingston Hospital Kennet Ward, Kingston Hospital

A spokesperson described how the funding remodelled Kennet Ward in a number of ways to create a better environment for patients living with dementia.

"Charitable support funded the dementia friendly aspects associated with the ward refurbishment programme, including the flooring, lighting, wall finishes, social spaces, artwork and signage," a spokesperson for the hospital said.

Olivia Frimpong, the Hospital’s dementia lead, offered further context.

Even making small adjustments to the ward's interior spaces like the floor and walls can go a long way, Frimpong said:

"Initial results show that the changes to the environment are having a positive benefit.

"For example, the reduction in pressure sores demonstrates that patients are up and about more and the improved lighting and flooring has reduced the likelihood of falls.

"I’m thrilled with what we have been able to achieve with the help of many who have generously contributed from across our community."

Your Local Guardian: Kennet Ward, Kingston Hospital Kennet Ward, Kingston Hospital

The Hospital's Chief Executive Jo Farrar meanwhile pointed out the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report that praised similar refurbishment work on the other elderly care wards.

"The Care Quality Commission inspection of Kingston Hospital in 2018 noted the refurbishment work we had embarked on to improve the ward environments for older patients," Farrar said.

"It’s fantastic to see the completion of these works, which will help us continue to improve the quality of the care we provide at Kingston Hospital," she added.