Work began on the unit in August 2014 and past patients are to officially open the unit on Wednesday November 26 at noon.
Work on the unit included new ceilings, flooring, a revamped medicine preparation area, a new isolation cubicle, as well as innovative ceiling pendants that house all of the medical gases, monitors, syringe pumps and other vital equipment at the patient bedside.
To enable the works to go ahead the unit had to temporarily move to ward 25 but it has now all been moved back.
Amanda Holmes, ward sister for ICU, said: “Our new look unit will provide a real benefit for our patients and staff. The new isolation cubicle will allow us to care for the most critically ill patients requiring ventilation such as those with infectious illnesses like TB or viral fevers. We usually have to transfer these patients to infectious disease units in other hospitals in the region.”
She said the new ceiling-mounted pendants would also free up valuable space around the patient bedside as all of the equipment including medical gases, monitors and other life-saving equipment would be housed in one storage area.
Amanda said: “Easy, non-cluttered access to our patients is vital as often there are lots of monitors, tubes, wires, pipes and other equipment around the bedside. Having it all located in one area will be great as it will allow us adequate access to the head of the bed without the obstacle of floor-standing equipment.”
Dr Jerry Thomas, consultant anaesthetist and lead clinician for the unit, said: “The refurbishment of the unit will provide a much improved environment for patients and staff. The state-of-the-art equipment will help tremendously in the diagnosis and management of acutely ill patients.”
He also added that the new isolation room facility would help greatly towards treating patients with highly infectious diseases.
This latest works follows a £250,000 investment in August 2013 when an extra intensive care bed was opened on the unit. The unit has a total of eight beds, six of which are intensive care beds (level three) and two are (level two) high dependency beds.
Level three beds provide constant observation and treatment for critically ill patients with one nurse for one patient. Patients in level two beds require a high level of monitoring and observation. One nurse looks after two patients.