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Patrick Ward Unit

Introducing the Patrick Ward Unit

In an exciting new addition to our facilities, Russell Court has recently opened a nine bedded unit dedicated to delivering bespoke dementia nursing care. The Patrick Ward Unit is named in honour of managing director Andrew West’s grandfather, who himself experienced dementia, and one of the primary motivations behind opening the unit is to deliver the quality of care Mr West wished his grandfather had had access to.

The unit occupies a separate wing of the nursing home, and features its own cosy lounge as well as a fully-equipped kitchenette and independent shower room. These facilities are especially important for residents with dementia, as the more intimate and quiet setting of the separate lounge means residents are less likely to experience sensory overload from the range of noises, people, and activities happening in the main lounge, while the kitchenette provides snacks and beverages around the clock, as we recognise that residents with dementia are not necessarily always oriented to place and time.

The unit is staffed by a small team of senior carers and carers, meaning that the staff are able to truly get to know the residents and their individual personalities and needs. Russell Court’s manager, Rachel Caveney, explains the decision to have a smaller separate team staffing the unit, saying, “It’s about us providing a truly personalised service to clients with dementia needs and staff knowing that person from when they come in until the end of their life, and more importantly knowing who they were before they came to us”. Residents with dementia often revert back to previous events and people in their lives as their condition progresses, which is why at Russell Court we recognise the importance of our team having an in-depth knowledge of that person, their interests, and their life, and why we ask for detailed life histories of all our residents. At any given time, there is a carer and senior carer on duty in the Patrick Ward Unit, overseen by the nurse on duty within the main home. The team of nurses here at Russell Court is very well established and maintains an excellent relationship with the local GP, enhancing the level of care we can provide for our residents. Overall, this makes the Patrick Ward Unit a fantastic and exciting addition to the home, and has given us the facility to accommodate clients with dementia needs and has enabled us to provide the level of care we strive to achieve in all aspects of the home.

Keith sitting in his armchair

However, there is no better way to get to know the Patrick Ward Unit than through introducing one of our residents. Keith, one of our first residents in the Patrick Ward Unit, quickly became a much-loved character at Russell Court and continues to keep us all smiling on a daily basis. A lover of coffee and pugs, Keith is often to be found chatting in the Patrick Ward lounge with other residents and the care staff, and enjoys talking about his time in beautiful Scotland and his love of snazzy cars. His two children, Kim and Peter, say that, “Patrick Ward has been a very welcome development for Dad and he has benefited a lot from the closer attention that he receives there. The staff are friendly and responsive to interactions with us, and kind, professional, and understanding in their interactions with Dad”. While unable to visit in person due to Covid-19 restrictions, Kim and Peter say that regular Zoom calls and talking to each other through the enclosed perspex visiting space in the quiet lounge (nicknamed the Pod) have provided valuable insight into Keith’s home here, and that regular updates through the online Gateway enable them to follow Keith’s progress throughout the day. Here at Russell Court, we are all looking forward to welcoming relatives and friends back through our doors as soon as it is safe and possible to do so, and we have already begun to set this process in motion.

Overall, the Patrick Ward Unit is an exciting and eagerly welcomed addition to Russell Court, and all the staff here, from our manager, nurses and carers to our domestic team and kitchen crew, are working hard to ensure that our love of what we do translates into outstanding care for our residents. Any enquiries about the Patrick Ward Unit can be answered through our manager, Rachel Caveney, who can be reached by telephoning 01474 708151 or emailing with details of the query.

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