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Ceredigion Education Mid Wales

Dragon’s Den winners’ dementia resources at Aberystwyth University’s nursing centre

DRAGON’S Den winners have installed resources at Aberystwyth University’s new Healthcare Education Centre to help educate nursing students about dementia.

The company RemPods, which won a £100,000 investment on the BBC TV programme, has created rooms that support vulnerable patients and individuals who have a diagnosis of dementia, including a memory wall, a room that resembles a train carriage and a community room.

This is the first time the company’s equipment has been used in a higher education setting and is part of the new £1.7 million healthcare education centre on the University’s Penglais campus.

Aberystwyth University’s first ever cohort of nursing students began their studies at the Centre at the start of September, which was officially opened by Wales’ Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS.

The University’s new Centre has also received ‘dementia-friendly’ status from the charity Dementia UK.

Amanda Jones, Head of Healthcare Education at Aberystwyth University, said: “We are very fortunate to be able to benefit from the expertise of this company. These dementia resources in the new centre are very important to our education provision. Naturally, supporting patients with a diagnosis of dementia is an increasingly key part of healthcare provision in Wales and beyond. That is why I am particularly pleased that we have been able to invest in these resources for our students.

“The new teaching equipment here at the Centre also includes virtual reality devices for experiencing frailty and the impact of ageing. Overall, the Centre is a very significant investment and will be a boost in terms of recruiting and retaining staff locally and regionally.”

RemPods was first established in 2009 by Richard Ernest. He was inspired to set up the innovative healthcare product when he formed a close relationship with an elderly neighbour whom he drove to and from a care home to see his terminally ill wife. 

In 2013, BBC TV Dragons’ Den stars Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones joined together and offered investment to expand the business.

Richard Ernest, the Founder and Director of RemPods, added: “It’s great to see Aberystwyth University and its students becoming the first in higher education to benefit from our resources. Making dementia care a core part of healthcare education is vital – it’s heartening to see that the needs of dementia patients in our ageing society is getting more and more attention.”