Barnsley Hospital opens new state of the art £7.3m ICU unit, doubling bed capacity
and live on Freeview channel 276
The £7.3m unit will increase capacity from seven beds to 16, plus eight escalation bays, which can be used as and when needed.
It will provide more space and better lighting, as well as more privacy for patients.
Patients will also have access to a dedicated outdoor courtyard.
It is hoped that improved patient wellbeing will lead to a shorter stay and earlier discharge.
Staff will also benefit from the new unit, which provides a dedicated break space, offices, changing facilities and showers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the unit had to be moved over two general ward areas as a makeshift solution.
Laura Limb, intensive care lead nurse, said that he situation was not ‘ideal,’ and added that the new unit had been ‘wanted for some years,’ due to a lack of light and space.
The unit was opened during a ceremony today (March 24), and Dr Tim Wenham, lead for intensive care, said that the bespoke unit will make a ‘massive difference’ for patients and staff.
Dr Wenham has been a consultant at Barnsley Hospital for 15 years, and has been campaigning for a new ICU in all that time, in what he calls a ‘personal mission’.
“it’s been well-designed around patients,” added Dr Wenham.
“There’s going to be a real pride to having it as well.
“We’d outgrown our facilities, and then Covid happened, and it really shone a light on how desperately we needed a new unit.
“In particular, it’s the space around the beds that has been challenging for us, and some of the procedures we’re doing for patients…is quite tricky in such a tight environment.”
Helen Green, associate director for nursing at the trust, said that having a bigger area and outdoor garden will make a ‘huge difference’ for patients.
“When you have a patient, or a patient’s family coming in to a critical care environment, it’s a really frightening time.
“We’ve got more space, more facilities for relatives, and the light, airy space enhances patient’s healing.”
Ms Green said that seeing the unit for the first time was ’emotional’ following the covid pandemic.
Katie Jepson and her family were also in attendance today.
She and her family have raised thousands for the garden, after her dad, Stephen Mosely, was in the ICU following a brain haemorrhage in 2017.
Ms Jepson said her family wanted to ‘show their appreciation’ for the ‘angel’ staff who looked after her father, and the family, during a difficult time.
Her daughter, Alice and son, Thomas, made angel keyrings and raised £2,000 selling them.
Ms Jepson said that the new unit is a ‘credit to the trust, the staff and the community’.
Richard Jenkins, chief executive said: “We’re investing heavily in our facilities right across the Trust.
"These critical care beds will not only expand our capacity to care for the most poorly patients, but will help relieve some of the pressures elsewhere in our hospital and allow our teams to ensure their patients receive the best possible treatment and care.’’