STAFF at the Borders General Hospital (BGH) in Melrose have completed a raft of changes to enhance patient experience.

Over the past few months extensive work has taken place to improve the overall experience for elderly patients.

And on Monday, the hospital’s two Department of Medicine for the Elderly (DME) wards were officially renamed. 

The DME Ward (also known as Ward 10) has become Ward 14 DME and Ward 12 is now known as Ward 12 DME. 

The changes aim to resolve any confusion for patients and visitors since the introduction of two DME Wards within the BGH.

The renaming of the wards is the culmination of a host of projects and activities that have been taking place within the two wards.

The DME teams have been working to combat ‘pyjama paralysis’ by encouraging patients to get dressed in their own clothes and promote mobility, dignity and independence. 

The staff have implemented an activity prescription chart for all patients to encourage continuous therapy seven days a week.

And workers have undergone training in how to de-escalate situations and use distraction methods if patients become distressed.

The hospital has also had some visitors too, including Hawick’s Golden Girls who stopped by for a sing-song last October.

The 11 singers gave a lively session of Scottish and Irish songs and Golden Girl Margaret Casson read a selection of light-hearted poems. Following the music, patients and staff also enjoyed a tea party.

Ali Forster, senior charge nurse of Ward 12 DME said: “The idea is to create some stimulation for our patients and de-escalate stress and distress. This improves their experience whilst in hospital and can help them return to health sooner and reduce the length of their hospital stay.”

Judith Tait-Brown, senior charge nurse of Ward 14 DME added: “By introducing social and physical activity we reduce pyjama (bed) time and promote healthier muscles. 

“We all need a reason to get out of bed and it’s no different for elderly patients. Increased activity promotes wellness, reduces muscle wastage and improves wellbeing which enhances recovery rates and gets patients home sooner – the social activities aim to do just that.”

There are also environmental changes planned, which include moving the glass door at Ward 14 DME across the main corridor to create space for a quiet ‘wander zone’.