Altro Safety Flooring products have been used to create a
dementia-friendly environment at the Salisbury District Hospital. A package of
Altro flooring and wall cladding is helping to create an optimum environment of
safety, calmness and wellbeing for dementia patients in a general ward at the hospital.
Altro worked with the University of Stirling's renowned Dementia
Services Development Centre (DSDC) to gain greater understanding of the impact
of the physical environment on people living with dementia. Based on this
collaboration, Altro developed various product ranges and colours specifically
designed for use in environments supporting people with dementia.
The Redlynch Ward at Salisbury District Hospital comprises of two
separate units. After more than 20 years of service, the ward is being modernised
with phase one of the project involving the refurbishment of one of the units. The
hospital's ArtCare design team, headed by Lesley Meaker was responsible for specifying
the wall cladding and flooring to meet the complex requirements.
Given that dementia patients go through frustrating, confusing and distressing
times, the design team aimed to create a truly dementia-friendly ward with an
environment that would help minimise their stress and make their lives more
A key objective of the refurbishment project was to set a standard and
create a template that could be replicated elsewhere as the best possible
environment for mental healthcare.
Some of the requirements for the dementia-friendly environment included
safe flooring underfoot especially when wet, which should also be slip-resistant
and sparkle-free so as not to confuse patients; neutral colours with no
patterns or ambiguous designs that can potentially upset patients; matt and
muted finishes; and sufficient contrast between floors and walls.
To make the space look less clinical and more welcoming, the design team
sought to bring nature inside, using natural-looking designs and products, wood
effects, and images of trees and flowers among others. All the products used in
the refurbishment also needed to be easy to clean and maintain long-term.
The design team was particular about using Altro products, having used
them in many projects over the years, and being confident about their superb
For the ward's main corridor, Lesley and her team specified Altro
XpressLay safety flooring, the world's first adhesive-free, truly
sustainable safety floor with recycled content. The flooring can be lifted and
reused and is 100% recyclable after installation, and at the end of its life.
Lesley explained that they chose Altro XpressLay because it was quick to
install, taking only a few hours, which meant they didn’t have to close the
other unit while the corridor was out of action.
Altro products also selected for the project included Altro Whiterock
Satins, a durable, grout-free, watertight smooth wall cladding system designed
for building environments required to meet strict hygiene standards; and Altro
Aquarius, an innovative safety flooring for combined barefoot and shoe use
in wet and dry environments.
Ideal for use in hospitals and care homes, Altro Aquarius has a palette
of warm and friendly colours, with its non-sparkle finish and
chipped/non-chipped variants ideal for dementia sufferers and the visually
According to Lesley, bathrooms for dementia patients can be very confusing
and dangerous areas, so it is essential that they are safe, clearly defined and
easy to use. Wet rooms ideal for both patients and staff have been designed using
Altro Whiterock Satins for plain, non-reflective walls and Altro Aquarius for
the floors, which are slip-resistant for both bare feet and shoes.
Lesley Meaker and her team chose Altro Whiterock Digiclad wall
cladding to turn a single room on the ward into a communal living space. Altro
Whiterock Digiclad offers the option of digitally printed design on wall
surfaces, creating impactful and creative graphics.
Altro Wood Smooth flooring was specified for the ward's main circulation
area to create a wood-like flooring that added a natural, warm touch to the
Altro Premier Installer Rudge Brothers & James was awarded the
contract to install the Altro products. Director Jim Heal said that it took four
of them six weeks on and off to complete the project, working around other
contractors on site.
RG Spiller was the main contractor for the project. Site Manager Lee
Durrant commented that Rudge Brothers & James was selected because of their
experience with Altro and their ability to install both Altro flooring and wall
cladding, which meant they needed only one contractor on site.
The refurbished ward has received positive feedback from patients as
well as visitors.
Lesley Meaker notes that Altro's expertise in designing products for
these specialist environments has enabled the design team to create the
benchmark for future projects. The same design principles based on Altro
products will now be used to modernise the second unit, as well as a hospice.