First phase of improvement work complete at Arbroath Infirmary

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The first phase of building work at Arbroath Infirmary has been completed with improved medicine for the elderly facilities now ready to receive patients.

It has been funded through a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Tayside,

Members of Arbroath’s Public Participation Group joined representatives from NHS Tayside, Angus Health and Social Care Partnership and Macmillan Cancer Support on an architect-led tour of the new medicine for the elderly facilities.

As part of the completed first phase, three Macmillan community palliative care rooms with en-suite facilities have been created.

The ward areas have been made dementia-friendly with colours and contrasts, which help older people with declining mental ability and memory and visual problems to remain orientated to their environment.

This is supported by signage which is easy to see and read, clocks that clearly display the time and date, chairs which stand out from the floor colour and using colours for toilet doors and nurse stations which encourage patients to their way independently.

Patient bathrooms have also been refurbished, modernised with wet rooms which provide better ease of access.

Funding from the Tayside Health Fund has been used to improve soft furnishings in the dayroom and artwork has been provided by Macmillan Cancer Support.

The day room has views of the local coastline to support patients’ recovery in a holistic environment, and one of the external balconies has also been enclosed, providing extra space with a homely feel.

Alison Rogers, non-executive member of the NHS Tayside Board, said: “I am really impressed by the improvements which have made such a difference to the whole area, making it seem so much lighter and brighter.

“It’s a significant change for the better which will enhance patient wellbeing while in hospital.”

Joanne Adamson, development manager for North Scotland at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “These new Macmillan community palliative care rooms will provide privacy and dignity for patients and along with thoughtful changes to the decor and furnishings, this will really contribute to an improved environment for people who need palliative care.

“Macmillan knows what a positive impact tailored care can have on patients and the friends and family supporting them, and we are pleased to have worked closely with other local organisations and invested in these improvements which we know will make a real difference to people coping with cancer in Arbroath.

“We are looking forward to continuing this partnership in phase two of our development, working with the local community and NHS Tayside to ensure this remains a facility the community can be proud of.”

The second phase of the project, due to start next week, will also see substantial investment to create a new Macmillan Day Care Unit to help those living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

The second phase will take approximately four months and convert the former Inchcape Ward into a brand new Macmillan Day Care Unit.

This will provide a day care assessment and treatment facility with two new consultation and treatment rooms, a patient lounge, reception area and a quiet room.

In addition to the enhanced community-based palliative care, Roxburghe House in Dundee will continue to provide inpatient specialist palliative care for Angus patients.