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New £4.3m ward at University Hospitals of North Midlands opens

A new respiratory ward has opened at University Hospitals of North Midlands providing state-of-the-art facilities for patients needing advanced respiratory care following a £4.3 million development.

The new 26 bed inpatient respiratory ward at Royal Stoke University Hospital was funded by NHS England and provides 14 single side rooms providing increased infection prevention measures, improved environment and better patient confidentiality for patients typically requiring care for cystic fibrosis, COPD and asthma. The 14 side rooms are themed with individual wall murals - chosen by the respiratory staff of their favourite landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower which have been funded by UHNM Charity.

The new ward also contains a 10 bed Respiratory Support Unit (RSU). This is an area of advanced care that enables a higher level of monitoring and respiratory intervention than a routine ward environment. Patients suitable for care in the RSU are those that need more monitoring but do not require critical care.

Today Tracy Mellor, UHNM Sister of the new ward, said: “We are delighted with our new ward. As soon as you enter, the bright and spacious environment is immediately inviting and there are lots of windows which bring natural light on to the ward area.

“Since we moved to the new ward the staff have been happier and it is lovely to hear them saying that they look forward to coming to work, which I believe is a positive effect on their well-being.”

The patient bed space in both the side rooms and in the ward bays ensure a much better sense of privacy and dignity for patients which helps to provide a better patient experience.

She added: “The development of a new Respiratory Support Unit means that we are able to provide care for patients who need advanced monitoring and we can provide high quality acute non-invasive ventilation (NIV). This means we can care for more patients who may previously have had to go to the Critical Care Unit and will therefore ease pressure on our busy CCU as well as benefit a wider group of patients.”

Grandmother Karen Burrows, 56, of Burslem, was one of the first patients on the ward after having a critical asthma attack. She said: “I have always had asthma and have had serious attacks before and I didn’t think I was going to make it this time but after five days in a coma in critical care I was moved into one of the new side rooms here.”

She added: “As well as asthma, I suffer with depression and anxiety so to have such an incredible amount of space, natural light from windows and the mural on the wall makes a huge difference. It really lifts your mood and is so much better than looking at a blank wall.”

Brian Metcalfe, of Knutton, was admitted for a biopsy on a mass found on his lung and he said: “Other wards can feel quite closed in but here there is so much room around the beds and in the side room there is a walk in shower and great decoration. I woke up on my first morning and was disorientated because I thought I was actually in Paris!”

The new ward in the Trent Building at Royal Stoke was previously used as office space and the programme of work included relocating staff to other buildings and renovation of the therapies reception and waiting room to allow an additional bedroom within the new ward footprint.

The construction of the ward also included new underground drainage, complete removal of all existing internal walls, back to brick of external walls, new window openings to suit the new bedroom layouts and full fit out of mechanical & electrical services. The quality of the ward has been completed to an exceptional standard and early feedback has been extremely positive from patients and staff alike.

Lorraine Whitehead, Director of Estates, Facilities and PFI said: “This new ward is of fantastic quality and really sets the bar high in terms of our future developments. My huge thanks go to our estates capital development team who overcame many challenges along the way and to all those who have supported them on the journey including our contractors, clinical and non-clinical teams. I’ve no doubt the ward will serve our patients and staff well for many years to come”.

Capital Development Project Manager, Paul Cumberlidge said the scheme was especially challenging with the fact the new ward was next to a live sleep and ventilation department. He said: “I want to thank the neighbouring departments for their patience during these challenging works. I hope that all can see this new high specification clinical space will benefit our patients and staff for many years to come.”

Garry Bowker, Regional Managing Director for Construction Delivery Partner, Integrated Health Projects (IHP) said: “Transforming office accommodation within a live hospital into a new ward does not come without its challenges. However, we are delighted with the end result and in hearing so many positive comments from clinical staff, patients and visitors. We hope the ward will continue to improve every patient’s experience during their stay.”


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