22nd March 2010, 10:47am
Students draw up new look for dementia centre
A student design for the refurbished waiting area at Witham Court A centre for people suffering from dementia will get a tranquil new waiting area thanks to the creative talents of University of Lincoln students.

Undergraduates from Lincoln’s Interior Design programme have drawn up designs for a refurbishment of the outpatient waiting area at Witham Court, near Lincoln.

Patients will soon benefit from new comfy club chairs, a relaxing colour scheme, improved lighting and a selection of artwork and photography on the walls.

The new-look foyer will be known as the Forget Me Not Lounge.

The overhaul is part of a wider £40,000 transformation of Witham Court by the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust, which runs the centre. The project will provide improved signage, a new entrance, an extended waiting area and a new café.

The Trust first contacted the University last year to ask if students could draw up designs to improve the appearance of the outpatient waiting area.

Interior Design undergraduates Kelly White, Stacey Hartga, Emily Creasey and Jodie Johnson took on the task.

Pamela Mulraney, Modern Matron at Witham Court, said: “The students took away our brief and came back to us with some amazing sample work of how they envisaged the project would look. They even costed everything for us. When they did their presentations, it really changed our perceptions of what we could achieve. It has been a delight to work with the students. They have been fantastic.”

Stacey said: “We wanted the Forget Me Not Lounge to have a real homely feel to it. With the new colour scheme and artwork, it will be a lot more relaxing and a much nicer place to sit while waiting for an appointment.”

Douglas Gittens, Senior Lecturer in Interior Design at the University of Lincoln, said: “The students have been very successful in giving the space an identity and a sense of place that it didn’t have before.”

In February the students joined staff from Witham Court in a trip to London to pitch their ideas to The King’s Fund.

The Department of Health is funding £30,000 of the project via The King’s Fund’s Enhancing the Healing Environment programme and a further £10,000 will come from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Work is already underway and the extension and refurbishment should be completed this summer.

Witham Court receptionist Lynne King said: “I am really looking forward to all the changes as it will be a much more bright, cheery and user-friendly place to work.”
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