Patients move into new intensive Care Unit

The first patients have moved into our new state-of-the-art intensive care unit (ICU) and are now comfortably settled in and being cared for.

A lot of hard work that has gone into this project – from the initial planning all the way through to the transfer of patients on 31 July and 1 August.

Gez Barrett, the Trust’s critical care matron said: “The move could not have been achieved without the help, support and dedication of the ICU team – both previous and current colleagues.”

“The clinical staff – both nursing and medical – have worked hard and tirelessly to care for the patients safely during the move, and we have had immense support from colleagues in clinical engineering throughout all the planning and implementation processes.”

“We have had help to transfer services from IT, telecommunications, estates, volunteers and supportive colleagues and we have been sent best wishes from teams across the Trust.”

“The move was made all the more special because several staff who were involved in moving ICU into the main unit 20 years ago, were also involved with this latest move. It is lovely that they could play a part in this next chapter for the Trust. The new unit looks fantastic and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved!”

The new innovative ICU which is based in our new wing, brings together all 16 intensive care and high dependency beds to one location for the first time.

Previously, the old unit – which had only two side rooms – had outgrown itself over 20 years and had become cramped and out-dated as technology advanced, meaning that four of the eight high dependency beds had to be located on a separate unit on ward 21, on the floor above.

The new unit has state-of-the-art ‘isolation’ cubicles allowing staff to care safely for patients and protect those with weak immune systems or with highly infectious diseases.

Each bed space is set within its own separate room, with its own medical equipment and purposely-designed with minimal furnishings to allow thorough cleaning and disinfection to minimise the risk of cross-infection.

Each room also has ‘switch-glass’ for privacy and mood-lighting which replicates daytime and night-time and greatly enhances privacy for each patient and their family.

As well as the enhancements for patients, there are also additional benefits for relatives thanks to much-improved family and carer rooms.

The old ICU housed one small waiting room and a separate relatives’ room while the new ICU houses a large waiting room – four times the size of the original – and two relatives’ rooms, which will ensure greater privacy for our staff when talking privately to families and carers.

There is no doubt that our new ICU is most fitting for 21st century medical and nursing purposes and these fabulous new facilities set the right tone for a modern, patient-focussed healing environment, which also provides a much calmer space for our families and carers, during what can often be a very traumatic time in their lives.