Sometimes, the smallest projects we fund can make a really big impact for our patients. A wonderful example is a recent musical initiative funded by the charity in the Complex Medical Unit  - also known as CMU.

The CMU cares for many patients who are often elderly or frail, and can have cognitive impairments such as dementia or delirium. These patients face numerous challenges in the unfamiliar hospital environment, which also poses difficulties for the nursing staff working to keep them safe and reduce their distress.

Sarah Saunders, Cognitive Frailty and Dementia Lead Nurse on the CMU, explained, “We are always looking for new initiatives to improve the hospital experience for our patients. We learned about a successful music programme at Imperial College and decided to trial it on one of our wards to see if it made a difference for our patients.

“With the charity's generous support, we purchased 11 MP3 players and headphones and asked Neil at Radio Cherwell, the hospital radio station, if he could provide some music.

“Neil was amazing, creating several playlists that covered a range of decades to suit everyone's tastes, along with a voiceover to remind patients where they are and what they are doing. This is crucial for patients with dementia as it helps reorient them.

“The feedback from the trial has been phenomenal. Some of our most unsettled patients have sat listening to music for long periods, showing a significant improvement in their mood and overall happiness. One patient even listened for two hours non-stop!”

Krystal Harry, Programme Assistant at Oxford Hospitals Charity, collaborated closely with the CMU team to implement the project. She shared her enthusiasm, saying, “I am thrilled with the success of this trial. It shows that projects, regardless of their size, can have a profound impact on our patients. The MP3 players have been so successful that we are now preparing to introduce them at the Horton General Hospital.”

Sarah is delighted and asked us to share our thanks with all our charity supporters who make projects like this possible. We’d also like to thank Harry’s Audio Library for their long-term support of projects like this in our hospitals

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