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Dementia-friendly X-ray room promotes calmer atmosphere

A specially designed imaging room at University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust can be tailored to patients’ mood

A specially designed imaging room at University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust can be tailored to match the mood of people with dementia, learning disabilities or confusion

X-ray room designed for people with dementia at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Inside the new X-ray room

Nurse specialists have helped create a dementia-friendly X-ray room with woodland imagery and music tailored to each patient.

Admiral Nurses in Southampton worked with radiographers from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) to design a room for patients with dementia, learning disabilities or confusion.

Its ceiling tiles feature clouds and a rainbow in a blue sky, and there is a picturesque woodland mural to make the space seem less clinical and help reduce anxiety.

The room also has plain matt flooring and dimmer switches to ensure light levels can be adjusted to patients’ preferences.

A person wearing a twiddle muff which helps keep patients active and keep their hands warm
Twiddle muffs help keep patients' 
hands active and warm

New environment calms people with dementia and helps provide better standard of care

A store of knitted fabric tubes known as ‘twiddle muffs’ is also on hand to keep patients’ hands warm and active during imaging.

Patients can also select their own music before being given X-rays.

UHS acting superintendent radiographer Ines Roca said: ‘It was difficult to find any literature on similar projects so we enlisted the help of the dementia specialist Admiral Nurses in Southampton to develop the concept with us.

‘This new environment helped us to calm patients with dementia, learning disabilities or acute confusion, and has enabled us to provide a better standard of care.’


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