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In the Community Corner

After looking at ways in which they could improve patients experience whilst staying in hospital, the team on the Senior Adult Medical Services Ward (SAMS) at Ashford and St Peter’s decided to create a sociable area for patients and visitors which they have named the 'Community Corner'.

The Community Corner is an area on the ward which has been set up as somewhere for people to socialise, read, play games or watch TV. It encourages patients to get up and move around throughout the day and is a place they can rest and eat which is away from their bed. It also provides a separate area to talk to each other and enables visitors and volunteers to engage with patients in a more relaxed setting.

The area has been painted brightly in order to create a different look to the rest of the ward and to feel less clinical.

Specialist Physiotherapist Paula Watts and Dementia and Admiral Nurse Lead Dave Sills were behind the idea, and with the support of Consultant Physician Clarence Chikusu, they created this area - Dave even kindly donated his office furniture to be used!

Consultant Physician Clarence Chikusu supports the initiative and says, “It has been well documented and understood that deconditioning in hospital is not only about the physical aspect but also the emotional and psychological. In many ways psychological deconditioning can have a tremendously harmful impact on physical well-being and therefore a lot of focus in managing unwell patients must go towards their psychological and emotional well-being too.

Initiatives such as the community corner create a social environment where by patients feel ‘at home’ and are therefore up lifted throughout the day. We remove boredom, improve social interaction and encourage conversation. There is a greater awareness of orientation in time, place and person owing to having newspapers to read, a television to watch and radio programmes to listen to and of course being able to mobilise up to the table and partake in teas, coffee or other warm drinks and snacks again enhances the likelihood of a more pleasant hospital stay.

For the time these patients are in hospital, we want to bring them as close to a home away from home experience as possible and make their transition to discharge smoother and happier.”

It's a cheery, sociable area and a great idea from the team to improve patient wellbeing.