Patients at the older person’s mental health ward at Royal Glamorgan Hospital can now pay a visit to their new local pub following the official opening of the Royal Tavern.

The Tavern is a ‘pop-up’ traditional pub created by staff to help patients with dementia enjoy their time in hospital more and give the ward more of a community feel.

While there is no alcohol served, the Tavern is fully kitted out with a bar, a television, pub games, books, a radio and tables and chairs so patients can enjoy their lunch or relatives can use it as a space that may help conversations and memories be more easily recalled.

Staff on the ward came up with the idea as they wanted to create a more home from home environment for the ward and provide patients with more things to do during their stay. Many dementia patients can be on the ward for several weeks and staff were keen to do something that would link with their former activities outside of hospital.

As well as the Tavern, the ward is planning to open a beauty salon and a sensory room. They have also recently purchased iPads for patients to be able to watch films on and play games.

Ward Manager Caroline Humphreys said: “We wanted to create something that would help patients interact with each other and be entertained during their stay. The pub provides them with an opportunity to do this and it has been a real success so far. It’s lovely to see staff, visitors and patients enjoying their time there.”

Ward Manager Sian Rees said: “The Royal Tavern is the first of our new initiatives to provide a better environment for our patients while they are in hospital. The pub takes them back to another time in their lives, where they are able to enjoy a pub lunch with friends and play games with each other so they don’t feel like they’re staying in a hospital ward.”

Julie Denley, Assistant Director of Mental Health, said: “It’s really important that we do all we can to provide patients with the best care and environment during their stay in hospital.

“Patients in our older adults mental health ward can often be in hospital for long periods of time and we want to do everything we can to make them feel at ease and interested in their surroundings.  The Royal Tavern is the first of many fantastic initiatives thought up by staff to achieve this and will really make a difference to the people that we care for.”

The Royal Tavern officially opens!