Health centre makeover helps people with a learning disability and dementia

Vital funding from NHS England has been used to help improve access for people with a learning disability and dementia in Evesham.

The makeover at Demontfort Medical Centre means there are now seven more clinical and treatment rooms, with scope for further developments on the second floor for more consulting space in the future.

A new lift has also been installed to improve access for disabled people, along with automatic front doors and the reception desk has been improved for greater access and privacy.

Signage is now in place in both words and pictures, with clear colour schemes and labelling, plus suitable flooring and surfaces – all designed to benefit people with dementia and a learning disability.

Renovations at the practice have cost just less than £1 million, £735,000 of which was provided by NHS England West Midlands.

Christine Colls, Practice Manager at Demontfort Medical Centre, said:

We’re so proud to be able to offer a more accessible service to our patients, many of which suffer with debilitating conditions such as dementia. This work means coming to a GP is that much easier for these patients, and we’re keen to do what we can to help people who need extra support. We’d like to say thank you to NHS England for helping us fund this incredibly important development.

The money used to make the changes came from NHS England’s Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF) which aims to offer grants for projects across the region in line with the health service’s key priorities.

Brian Hanford, Director of Finance at NHS England West Midlands, said:

Making the most out of the latest developments in estates and technology to provide improved care for patients is a key objective of the ETTF programme. We are always pleased to support practices like Demontfort Medical Centre who are working hard to continually improve the health and wellbeing of all their patients and the care they can deliver.

Patients are already commenting on how much they like the changes and work is continuing to make the practice even more accessible for all visitors.

Jill Sellick, 60, has a mild learning disability and is one patient who likes the improvements to the practice. She said:

I’m really happy with the work and how the surgery looks now with all the changes. I used to struggle to get in and out but now, thanks to the new entrance, it’s a lot easier for me to go to the doctors when I need to. I go quite regularly for check-ups so it makes a big difference to me and others with disabilities and dementia.

There’s lots more room for patients to get around now too, so it feels less cramped which could be overwhelming for people sometimes. Everyone at the surgery is really nice and I’m really pleased they’ve thought about what they can do to make things better and easier for people like me.

For more information contact Christine Colls, Practice Manager on 01386 443333.