UnNews:Hospital holds “day to forget” for dementia patients

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15 February 2015

Pioneering hospital planning "all you can eat" steakhouse trip and parachute jump for cardiac patients

LONDON, England -- St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington completed its first "forgettable day out" for members of the Alzheimer's ward. The unmemorable outing included a five-hour coach ride, a stop at a small town’s vegetable market, then on to a cinema to see Still Alice.

This and future ward-specific days out were prompted by the NHS’ Get Patients out of Beds campaign, in which hospitals devise things to do with patients other than treat them, in order to meet new Government targets for bed availability. The day-to-forget freed up twelve beds for eight hours.

The unplanned birth of the concept came from regular intercourse between two research teams – the first year nurses in Maternity and some ambulance drivers. Once, on the graveyard shift, the researchers accidently left the fire exit open to the insomniacs ward in Neurology.

“We looked everywhere,” said Sophie Whyte, a nurse in Neonatal: “in the end we found them covered in sweat on the stage at the adjacent superclub, cutting shapes to Insomnia by Faithless; they were ecstatic, hugging us and saying how great our drugs are. They all slept like baby’s the next day… and that got us thinking.”

With the night shift bed problem sorted, the team are planning other ward specific series of days out, including karting for the Orthopaedics, a brewery tour for the Renal Department, a Barbados beach holiday for the Burns Unit and a short trip to Disneyland for the bi-polar.

The patients from the dementia ward seemed to enjoy their day out, with only a couple lost; and one actually getting employed at a local income tax office.