Murals bringing the outside inside at Kettering hospital

From left, therapeutic activities co-ordinator Joanna Momi, healthcare assistants Kelly Freeman, Lydia Tucker and Donna Deacon, and housekeeper Camilo Quesada showing the new murals in the Naseby day room at Kettering General Hospital.
From left, therapeutic activities co-ordinator Joanna Momi, healthcare assistants Kelly Freeman, Lydia Tucker and Donna Deacon, and housekeeper Camilo Quesada showing the new murals in the Naseby day room at Kettering General Hospital.

Colourful countryside and wildlife murals have been painted in some of Kettering General Hospital's wards in a bid to help patients with dementia.

The designs, which are are liberally sprinkled butterflies, dragonflies and animals, cover the walls in the Naseby and HC Pretty day-room wards.

From left, physiotherapy assistant Bekki Hart, Forget-Me-Not Dementia Garden Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers and assistant practitioner Jomin Jose in the HC Pretty day room at Kettering General Hospital.

From left, physiotherapy assistant Bekki Hart, Forget-Me-Not Dementia Garden Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers and assistant practitioner Jomin Jose in the HC Pretty day room at Kettering General Hospital.

They have been created to help support patients with dementia in the hope they will spark happy memories, provoke conversation and provide a calming atmosphere.

Hospital staff believe the murals can support activities which occupy unsettled dementia patients, such as counting the butterflies and dragonflies as a distraction.

Jayne Chambers, the hospital's head of cancer services and the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Garden Appeal organiser, said: “We already have a seaside mural in our dementia garden next to Lamport and Twywell wards and it has proven very effective in supporting patients with dementia by providing them with a safe and stimulating environment.

“We had so many positive comments about the existing murals from patients, relatives and staff that we thought it would be a good idea to extend the theme to some of our day rooms on wards where we also support patients with dementia.

Wildlife such as a roe deer feature prominently in the new murals at the Nasbey day room ward at Kettering General Hospital.

Wildlife such as a roe deer feature prominently in the new murals at the Nasbey day room ward at Kettering General Hospital.

“It enables us to bring the outside inside in a safe and engaging way for these patients and will provide some fantastic talking points that can help them to stay calm and relaxed.”

The murals for the two day rooms were commissioned from Kettering artist Catherine Matthews with £2,000 in funding from the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Garden Appeal.

They include a woodland scene and countryside themes, complete with a roe deer, red fox, badger, rabbit, kingfisher, red kite, robin, barn owl, song thrush, blackbird, goldfinch and grey squirrel.

Joanna Momi, the therapeutic activities co-ordinator on the Naseby ward, said: “It is just amazing and our patients – and their families – really love the room.

Rabbits feature as part of the mural in the HC Pretty day room ward at Kettering General Hospital.

Rabbits feature as part of the mural in the HC Pretty day room ward at Kettering General Hospital.

“We chose a woodland theme because it is so relaxing and Catherine did an absolutely superb job of painting in all of the very realistic wildlife.

"Everyone is just so happy with it.”

The HC Pretty Ward has just had its mural completed and matron Siobhan Shuker said: “The mural has really brightened up our existing day room and we hope it will prove to be an interesting talking point for patients and their families.”

Consultant geriatrician Irene Hubbard added: “We are really pleased with the new art work in our day rooms and Catherine has done a superb job.

A brightly coloured kingfisher on the mural in the Nasbey day room ward at Kettering General Hospital.

A brightly coloured kingfisher on the mural in the Nasbey day room ward at Kettering General Hospital.

“Naseby ward has a high number of dementia patients who can frequently become agitated and disorientated, especially when unwell in an unfamiliar environment.

“The painted woodland scene is enjoyed by both patients and relatives as it provides a calming environment and a pleasant distraction.”