IMPROVEMENTS need to be made to a hospital’s discharge process on a dementia ward, a new report has recommended.

It comes after relatives of dementia patients raised concerns in a Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen report about the discharge process in Ward C5 of Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Discharge planning identifies what services and support patients may need when they leave hospital.

A relative said: “I don’t feel involved in the discharge process of my relative and don’t know what to expect when they come home”.

Another said: “We haven’t started discussing discharge yet, but I feel like we will be involved when the time comes”.

Another person added: “I think it’s probably too early to discuss my (relative's) discharge yet although they did say they would only be in for a couple of days but not sure what is wrong with them yet.”

Ward C5 is a dementia friendly medical ward for older people.

In 2014, the ward underwent an overhaul as part of a £1.4million project which saw it transformed into one of the best in the country for dementia care.

The project saw ‘intelligent’ healing lights which reflect the patient body clock fitted, as well as larger bed spaces, bright colours to promote orientation and a nature theme on the ward.

Recommendations in the report included better communication of a patient’s progress between staff and the carer or next of kin, as well as a clearer communication about discharge planning with carers and relatives, especially those who provided day-to-day care.

But the ward was praised in the report for being a friendly ward that had a calm and relaxed atmosphere. While the ward was said to be well staffed by people who are attentive and caring.

Christine Pearson, director of nursing for East Lancashire Hospitals trust said: “We take all feedback very seriously and constantly strive to ensure all our patients and relatives have a good experience when using the trust’s services.

“We will be taking on board all the comments received and ensuring any issues raised are looked at in further detail and feedback provided to Healthwatch.”