BBC Dragons’ Den RemPods rolled out at Rochdale Infirmary

BBC Dragons’ Den RemPods rolled out at Rochdale Infirmary
17 July 2015

AN innovative product that started out life as a pitch to the investors on BBC Dragons’ Den has been introduced at Rochdale Infirmary as part of a new holistic therapy for dementia patients.

RemPods are essentially full size pop up themed canvas backgrounds from yesteryear which come complete with furniture and background sound effects to enhance the sensory impact. The pods are being used for reminiscence therapy sessions for patients living with dementia.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was commissioned by NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) to purchase seven pods to compliment the care delivered on the Oasis Unit at Rochdale Infirmary. This unit supports patients who are suffering from an acute physical condition or deterioration in their dementia.

The RemPods purchased include a beach pod, pop-up cinema, pop-up pub, vintage store, pop-up dance hall, vintage shed and a 1960s living room.

The pods have seen significant therapeutic benefits and encourage patients living with dementia to reminisce about times gone by and engage in conversations with their fellow patients, friends, relatives and carers.

All seven RemPods were showcased at a launch event at Rochdale Infirmary hospital held in the evening on Thursday 16 July 2015. Local Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk was in attendance, alongside the Mayor of Rochdale Surrinder Biant and Mayoress Cllr Cecile Biant.

Staff including nurses from the hospital’s Oasis Unit came dressed in 1940s themed dress and a local amateur dramatics group played characters from the era, interacting with guests and demonstrating how the pods worked.

Food on the night was also themed, with popcorn and mini ice-creams available at the pop-up cinema and old fashioned sweets from the vintage store.

Lou Harkness-Hudson, clinical matron at the Oasis Unit said:

“Staff on the Oasis unit have been using the new RemPods to great effect and they really do encourage interaction between patients and their carers and help patients to feel far more settled and engage in their care and activities.

“We have been using the pods to host fun activities including trips to the beach and pub quizzes in the evenings, all of which provide a great opportunity for patients, their families and friends to re-discover things about their loved ones.

“Patients have also shown improvement in their psychological wellbeing since we introduced the pods as part of our reminiscence therapy.”

The Oasis Unit opened last year and is a new medical unit developed purely to support patients with dementia from the Rochdale borough. It has five beds and all patients benefit from a ‘dementia friendly’ environment with themed rooms, enhanced nurse staffing ratios and the specialist input of Registered Mental Nurses from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Chris Duffy, local GP and chair of HMR CCG said:

“Our aim is to make sure that everyone within our borough who is living with dementia – including carers and families – lives well. As with all reminiscence therapy, the RemPods serve to reconnect patients with memories that calm them and experiences they can share with those nearest to them.”       

Patients are able to access the same wide range of diagnostic facilities currently available to patients on the Clinical Assessment Unit (CAU). The Oasis Unit is believed to be the first of its kind in a hospital setting in England.

MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk said:

“The dementia time bomb is a massive global health threat and I’m very encouraged to see Rochdale providing such high quality services to support and help people with dementia. We should be proud that we have these services. They really are first class.”

Pictured (left to right): Patient Minnie Heys with Ward Sister Rhiannon Lloyd and RAID/OP Liaison Practitioner Ash Akoumah in the vintage shed RemPod

Watch our new video showing the RemPods being used on the Oasis Unit at Rochdale Infirmary.