New Sheffield hospital ward is real ‘home from home’

Jaqui Copley, a haematology patient on the new ward
Jaqui Copley, a haematology patient on the new ward
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Sheffield’s newest hospital ward has been hailed as a ‘home from home’, complete with personal fridges and games consoles.

The Hallamshire Hospital has laid on these and other home comforts, like reclining chairs, large windows and artwork, for blood patients in the new rooms in its haematology department.

Sheffield Hospitals Charity, which donated £300,000 to make the work possible, asked patients, families and staff to help design the new rooms.

The charity’s director David Reynolds said creating a ‘home from home’ was particularly important since evidence suggested a more comfortable stay could improve patients’ chances of a successful recovery.

“A recent study concluded that a positive patient environment resulted in patients appearing to make significantly better progress, and rating their care and staff more highly,” he said.

“It also found patients having a view of the outside world was as important to them as being comfortable and having some control over their environment.”

The 17 single rooms were built for the growing number of patients needing complex treatments for blood cancers and other disorders.

They provide space for people to receive care in isolation to protect their weakened immune systems and give them more privacy.

Sarah Fulcher spent nearly a month being treated in one of the hospital’s existing haematology isolation rooms after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in September 2013.

The 32-year-old, of Retford, Nottinghamshire, said: “When you feel really ill and anxious about your health you just want your own space, so you can be yourself and you don’t have to share how you feel with anyone, like on a ward.

“At home, we all take access to a television, views out of a window, painted coloured walls and internet access for granted. In hospital, you often can’t see out of a window and you are surrounded by stark white walls, sometimes for several weeks. This can be quite depressing.

“Being able to watch TV when you want, in a nicely decorated room, with access to wi-fi, so you can keep in contact via Skype, would make a huge difference. These kind of distractions would make the experience so much more bearable.”