A £2.5 million state- of- the- art Dementia Assessment Unit (DAU) was officially opened in Bradford today. The unit based at Lynfield Mount Hospital will welcome patients from across Craven, Airedale and Bradford from Thursday.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust designed the 22 en-suite single bedded DAU in line with best practice and sought independent review from international experts. This included dementia design expert Annie Pollock, Architect and Director of Landscape Design at the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre.

Annie said: “This is an amazing space. It’s vitally important that people who are acutely unwell with dementia can be assessed in the best possible environment. Practical and familiar elements such as clocks, soft fabric and outdoor spaces all contribute to making the patient feel as comfortable and as at home as possible.”

Familiar beauty spots and local landmarks, selected by staff, patients and relatives feature in the unit’s décor in the form of 10 reminiscence wall murals. These include Bolton Abbey, Betty’s Tea Rooms and the Five –Rise Locks.

Lister ParkAdditional dementia friendly features include en-suite bathroom doors which can fold back and fix into the wall allowing sight of the toilet from the bed. Colours and fabric have been selected which do not reflect or cause glare, the floor has been protected to absorb noise and there is clear visual contrast between floors and walls.

Relatives and carers of patients currently receiving care at the Trust’s current Dementia Assessment Unit, Ward 24 at Airedale General Hospital joined the open day and welcomed the new design.

Paula Whittaker, whose father will move to the ward later this week, officially opened the unit. Paula said: “The unit looks fab. The mural of Haworth Main Street brings lots of wonderful memories back for my family. It’s somewhere both my mum and dad enjoyed. I’m really impressed with the space it’s light, airy and modern.”

The award winning multi-disciplinary team from Ward 24 will continue to care for people acutely unwell with dementia, in this calming, dementia friendly environment.