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Cinema room helps patients feel ‘more at home’ when in hospital

Cardiff & Vale Health Charity’s Staff Lottery has recently funded a cinema room on Meadow Ward, Llanfair Unit at University Hospital Llandough for patients suffering from mental health conditions, helping them feel more relaxed and at home while they are in hospital.

With comfortable chairs, new audio visual equipment and a newly decorated room, service users are able to watch films and TV programmes that they choose.

The space can also be used for service users to engage in low stimulus activities such as mindfulness and relaxation therapy.

Caroline Player, Occupational Therapy Technician on Meadow Ward said: “People who use our services can be with us for long periods of time, so we were eager to improve their ward environment by creating a more relaxed and homely feel.

“Recovery in mental health has three main elements which are universally agreed: hope, control and opportunity.  We believe this project promotes these elements within the inpatient setting.

“We only have one TV on the ward and having a specially designed room, with fit for purpose equipment provides us with the opportunity to host film nights and comedy afternoons, enhancing entertainment and encouraging patients to choose what they would enjoy watching at home or in the cinema.

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“Having sat and talked through the idea for a cinema room with service users, they suggested a variety of films and comedies that they would enjoy watching.

“Some of our service users are unable to attend community cinemas due to long-standing mental health conditions, as they suffer with poor concentration and limited mobility.  They will greatly benefit from being able to enjoy films and TV programmes in a safe environment, to stimulate their interest and promote their ability to make choices, develop routines, build hobbies and interests and promote socially appropriate behaviour and encourage conversation.

“Service users use the room to chill out in the evenings, whether as part of a group or their own personal viewing choice.  Weekends in particular have proven to be very popular as the ward provides hotdogs and popcorn to enhance the atmosphere, and this in turn encourages our patients to engage in preparing food and snacks for the evening film.

“Since having the cinema room patients who would not normally interact with each will spend time in each other’s company enjoying a film or comedy.  It has created a place where patients are relaxed and absorbed in what is going on without distraction from the main ward area.  Also to have everything brand new is amazing, it feels like it belongs to the ward. It has definitely enhanced the patient experience on the ward.

“On behalf of Meadow Ward, I’d like to thank the Health Charity Staff Lottery for helping us to improve our services for our service users.”

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