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Following a busy night shift worked within the Emergency Department at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust , Registered Nurse Natalie Bradbury reflected on her experience caring for one particular patient who had been brought into the department as an emergency, who already distressed by the experience was clearly then overwhelmed and frightened by the unfamiliar, busy environment.

Natalie said “ I asked myself why are we nursing this person in this area when what they need is somewhere quiet and calm” and recognised that the whole experience would have been improved had there have been an area within the department that provided a calm and more relaxing environment.

This was the start of a project to provide an area within the Emergency Department which has been specially adapted to help support patients attending the department who have specific sensory needs known as “The Bluebell Room”.

The Bluebell room provides patients with a designated area in which they can receive quality care away from the busy ED environment. The room has been decorated in a way to offer an area which can enhance an individual’s feelings of comfort and wellbeing.

Providing a safe environment for patients finding the busy ED department a challenge it will also help towards relieving stress and pain, which in turn helps improve communication and memory. The room will help engage and stimulate patients whilst receiving assessment and interventions helping to reduce the anxiety patients may experience. Music, light projectors, games and reminiscence packs are available for use within the room.

The project had financial implications, which were overcome by involvement from the Trust Community Involvement Manager. The project was successfully funded by monies from the charitable funds community within the Trust.

The Bluebell room has enabled an entry point and exit point within the Emergency Department for patients requiring care on a Dementia pathway.

The most expensive currency to a patient is their time, spending this in a more appropriate area within ED such as the Bluebell Room recognises the importance of this. The Trust involved local care homes who provide specialist care for Dementia patients in sensory areas, this helped to ensure the project supported the correct level of care upon admission to the hospital for these patients.

The Trust currently has a Dementia friendly ward facility at the end of a patient’s pathway, the new Bluebell Room has improved the front end of the pathway. Ensuring patients receive the correct level of care at the front door upon admission, providing patients with a more robust pathway throughout their hospital journey. The staff within the Emergency Department recognise The Bluebell Room as of great benefit and it has already supported improvements in the quality of care provided to patients.

“The Bluebell Room has not been going that long but is already recognised by others such as Paramedics who when transferring a person into the department suggest at handover if they think that the person may benefit from being cared for in there” says Natalie “I am really proud of the Bluebell Room and the different environment we can now offer to our patients”

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