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Donation from Friends of West Suffolk Hospital charity to buy interactive 'reminiscence' screens for patients with dementia




West Suffolk Hospital has received £20,000 to buy four interactive 'reminiscence' screens to support patients with dementia.

The money from The Friends of West Suffolk Hospital charity will go towards the RITA systems (reminiscence interactive therapy activities), which allow patients to look through archived photographs, video clips, relaxing music and play interactive games and quizzes.

There will now be six such screens across the hospital's trust.

Simon Bower, NHS trainer; Maggie Woodhouse, dementia trainer and Julie Fountain, lead nurse for dementia and frail elderly at WSFT with one of the new RITA machines (11734594)
Simon Bower, NHS trainer; Maggie Woodhouse, dementia trainer and Julie Fountain, lead nurse for dementia and frail elderly at WSFT with one of the new RITA machines (11734594)

Maggie Woodhouse, dementia trainer at the trust, said: “We try to make a hospital stay as comfortable as possible for all our patients, but some of our particularly vulnerable patients need a little extra support to feel at ease in an unusual environment, such as our patients who have dementia.

“RITA is an easy-to-use digital tool which encourages conversations between staff, visitors and patients; helping patients, particularly those with dementia, to recall memories, and interact.

"It has also been effective in calming distressed or anxious patients, whatever their age or condition, and can be used by patients themselves or with help from nurses, therapists, family and carers.”

About one in four inpatients at the Bury St Edmunds hospital have dementia.

Julie Fountain, lead nurse for dementia and frail elderly at the trust, added: "It costs around £20,000 to purchase this wonderful equipment, but the difference it has made to patients is worth every penny.

"A big thank you to our Friends Shop volunteers and the customers who purchase items from there – without them we could not have bought these brilliant digital systems."



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