Mystery £326,000 legacy pays for Scunthorpe hospital dementia upgrade - BBC News

15th May 2024

Scunthorpe General Hospital is getting improved dementia facilities thanks to a mysterious £326,000 donation from the United States.

Elizabeth Fairchild left the money in her will to benefit patients at the town's hospital.

The hospital trust said it had been unable to discover Mrs Fairchild's links to Scunthorpe or why she left the legacy.

The money is being spent on making wards more dementia-friendly.

Work includes refurbishing bays and cubicles, and providing nine dementia-friendly bed areas on each ward.

There are pictures above the beds, adjustable lighting systems, matt flooring and dementia-friendly signs.

There will also be reminiscence interactive therapy activities machines, which help patients with their memory, and 12 months of funding for a dedicated dementia staff post.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony on one of the wards

Jackie Fenwick, lead nurse for vulnerabilities at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: "These new facilities will benefit our dementia patients in a number of ways.

"The pictures above the bed will help patients to recognise their own bed space, and the dementia-friendly signage will help to orientate them to the environment.

"It's all about familiarity and reducing anxiety."These facilities will also benefit patients with delirium and anyone with a cognitive impairment."

Two wards have already received the improvements, with work on the others set to start soon.