January 2017




January news  

20.01.17: New rooms offer comfort for early pregnancy patients

IMG 2563

Patients at the Early Pregnancy Unit at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea are benefitting from two newly refurbished rooms thanks to a charitable grant of £28,000 from Imperial College Healthcare Charity.

A new larger purpose built waiting room and counselling room have been created and refurbished, featuring new lights, seating, walls and artworks by artist Charlotte Verity that help create a calmer more peaceful environment for patients. They were officially launched earlier in the week.

Tom Bourne, consultant gynaecologist at the Trust, said: “It’s a huge change. We now have a waiting room that is airy, has natural light and great colour and fantastic art. The space has been thought out properly. It was formerly the old research room which just wasn’t being used properly, whilst the waiting room we did have was an unconverted four bed ward with the equipment stripped out, with no natural light.

“It was an extremely depressing place for people to wait, especially if you were waiting for news about problems in early pregnancy or possibly miscarriage. There’s a lot of data out there that shows the environment the patient is in makes a big difference to their mental outlook and their levels of anxiety.

“Our counselling room, where we break bad news to patients, has been done up in the same way and will make a big difference to the experience patients have here.”

Catriona Stalder, consultant at the Early Pregnancy Unit, said: “The counselling room is somewhere where we hopefully leave an impression for the right reasons whereas before I felt it left an impression for the wrong reasons. Patient feedback has been very positive; they tell us it’s a far more comfortable environment to be in.

“Architect Ab Rogers and his team have involved us every step of the way to get our feedback on what we felt would work and what wouldn’t. It’s been fantastic to have all the input all the way through.”

Imperial College Healthcare Charity has awarded more than £34 million to over 500 projects like this at the Trust since 2009. For more about the grants the charity has awarded, click here.  


10.01.17: Patients with dementia fall less often thanks to charity funded equipment

Katie Pritchard

Patients living with dementia are being helped to recover and return home quicker thanks to a grant from Imperial College Healthcare Charity. 

The charity has funded My Improvement Network technology, which provides a plethora of activities that includes games, music, physical exercises and opportunities for social interaction all contained within an All-in-One unit that is portable, compact and compliant with infection control requirements.

The technology has been in use on Valentine Ellis and Albert Ward at St Mary’s Hospital and involves activities on computers, television screens and tablets. It helps patients in a number of ways, including helping to reduce the number of falls and reducing the need for one to one Special Nurses.

Katie Pritchard, Ward Manager on Albert Ward, said: “The technology has made such a difference. It has transformed the way we deliver our nursing care to patients with dementia; we’ve even won a Quality Improvement Award recently. We would like to thank the charity for providing the funding for this equipment.”    

My Improvement Network helps patients’ sleep/awake cycle so they are not sleeping during the day and awake at night. If patients get out of bed at night, when lighting is low when there is often less staffing, it can pose a high risk of falls.

The number of falls on Albert Ward in August 2015, before the technology was introduced, was at 33.3 per cent. In August 2016, after the technology was introduced, the number of falls had reduced to 14 per cent.

Katie said: “My Improvement Network provides stimulation that we haven’t been able to give to patients before. We have group activity sessions and the patients really enjoy it. It’s making hospital fun for them. Some of our patients can be here for two or three months and there is a real variety of things patients can do with this.”




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