FOUR hospital wards used by patients in Colne and West Craven have been upgraded to ensure they are ‘dementia-friendly’.

Around £700,000 has been spent on the project at Airedale Hospital, at Steeton, which has seen a former mental health unit overhauled.

The centre has been redecorated with bright colours, and new toilets, showers and bathrooms have been installed to help patients return safely to their beds and minimise disorientation.

Soothing stained glass windows have also been fitted, and new floors created, incorporating non-reflective materials, alongside improved ceilings and lighting.

A ‘reflections’ room featuring images from the 1950s, to trigger happy memories, has also been included.

Elaine Andrews, assistant director of patient safety at Airedale NHS Foundation, said: “The whole design has been centred on the needs of patients with dementia and it will also create a more pleasant environment for our staff.”