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New unit opens for vulnerable patients at Warwick

29 November 2018

safe haven
Warwick Hospital’s Phillips Ward nurse unit manager Vickie Virgen and nurse Tony Bell in the new Safe Haven unit for delirious patients.

A dedicated space for some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients has opened at Warwick Hospital.

The Safe Haven unit is a four-bed ward that enables intensive, one-on-one care for patients experiencing acute symptoms of dementia or delirium.

The new area is located within the existing Phillips Ward at the hospital.

"The space won’t always be utilised as a ‘safe haven’ for patients, and that’s the beauty of it," Phillips Ward nurse unit manager Vickie Virgen said.

"When it’s not in use, it can be converted back to a regular, six-bed ward."

Ms Virgen said patients experiencing delirium often need more specialised care.

"Delirium is a passing mental disorder that generally last only a few days," she said.

"People with delirium may experience confusion, forgetfulness, agitation or disorientation. It can be a scary experience for our patients.

"The Safe Haven is designed to provide a calming environment for our staff to provide specialised care."

The ward features ‘grounding’ materials such as posters displaying the location and current date, as well as reusable noticeboards to document each patient’s name, personality traits and individual needs.

As with all nursing staff across Darling Downs Health, staff at Warwick Hospital undergo specific delirium training each year.

Last updated: 21 December 2018