People with dementia often gravitate towards bus stops, because it can help them calm down and regain a sense of where they are.
So Transport for London and St George’s Hospital in Tooting have teamed up to install a traditional London bus stop in one of the hospital’s wards.
Now, people staying in the Dalby Ward will have a familiar point they can recognise, and they can go there to take a break.
Jen Tulloch, clinical nurse specialist for dementia and delirium at St George’s, said: “This is a fantastic initiative, and is one of the many steps we have taken at St George’s to improve care for people living with dementia.
“A hospital stay can often be challenging for patients with dementia, and by having a bus stop on the ward, it gives our patients with dementia a familiar and safe space to go to if they are feeling distressed.”
The wording on the stop (“Do you feel lost? Wait here. Someone will be with you soon”) was developed with staff at the trust.
There are 72,000 people living with dementia in London.
Esther Watts, Alzheimer’s Society’s senior dementia friendly communities officer for London, said: “The progress that TfL and St George’s have made in supporting those affected by the condition is commendable.
“St George’s installing this stop puts them on par with other leading hospitals in the sector.”
She also praised TfL for its plan to train all of its 26,000 bus drivers as “dementia friends” by 2022 – part of Sadiq Khan’s push to make London the first dementia-friendly capital city.
“This is just one of the many ways that we are working to make life easier for all Londoners, including those with medical conditions or disabilities.”