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Hospital ward opens dementia café for patients and relatives to visit

Patients on Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s older person’s ward can now pop out for tea and cake with their families. 

Staff from the hospital's Morris Ward, and the estates team, have made tremendous efforts to transform a former activities room into The Morris Café for their dementia patients.  

They have also created a ‘bus stop’ outside the café with a timetable to give patients the feeling of going out with fellow patients or to see their visitors. 

Matron Rebecca Jones said: “We wanted there to be somewhere nice for our patients to go, to sit with their families and engage with each other.  

“This has been a big team effort to get this off the ground and to open so quickly. Staff members even came in on their days off to help set it up, I’m so proud of what everyone has done, and it’s been a massive success. 

“The bus stop was an extra part of the experience of having a day out, so patients come out of the ward, head over to the bus stop and then they’re let into the café.  

“We want patients to come every mealtime, in between for snacks and drinks, and socialise with each other and their relatives. It’s also somewhere to go for special occasions too.” 

The café, which opened this month, is free to all patients and their visitors. It has freshly painted walls, new wallpaper, a radio, piano and the Maelor Voluntary Service donated all the chairs and tables. 

The café is recognised as a calming facility for patients who are living with dementia when they are in hospital in an unfamiliar environment. 

Erin Humphreys, Wrexham Maelor Hospital Head of Nursing in Medicine, said: “This is very much a team idea and effort to open the café. It’s also a good way of giving our patients more independence, prevent deconditioning and we’ve already had such lovely comments from patients, saying they feel like they’ve been away. 

“A lot of this has come from what patients have said they would like to have as well, so this has been driven by their feedback too. We also have a patient who used to work in a café and wants to volunteer to help in The Morris café, so we’ve got a tabard for her as well as a till to give it that real café feeling. 

“We’d like to thank all the staff from a range of teams to make this great experience for our patients and those who that took time on their days off to come in and help, including our Healthcare Assistant Sue Jones who donated and put up the wallpaper in the café which makes a huge difference.” 

The café overlooks the ward’s garden which the team are looking at developing next for their patients to be able to use during the summer. 

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