Work is well underway on a new respiratory support unit at the University Hospital of North Tees.
The new £2.5 million unit, based in the hospital’s main tower block, will replace one of the two existing respiratory wards and provides a greatly improved environment to care for patients.
The new unit, due to open to patients in late-November, will allow for:
- Improved infection control and isolation facilities
- Increased visibility of patients with the creation of a new bed spaces to support patient observation
- A central tele-monitoring and alert system
- Increased oxygen supply and improved ventilation system
Respiratory consultant and departmental lead Vandana Jeebun said: “COVID has demonstrated that the current respiratory unit needed significant modernisation to provide the highest level of care and to be able to meet the changing needs of our sick respiratory patients.
“One of the early lessons was that we required a bespoke space to be able to better visually monitor our patients who are at high risk of deterioration. Traditional ward layouts are unfortunately not designed to facilitate this. In addition, we knew that we needed significant changes in the provision of oxygen supply alongside modern ventilation systems to be able to care for many of the sick patients in the right place.
“The challenges we faced during COVID drove us to design a unit that we felt would serve the medical needs of our sickest COVID as well as non-COVID respiratory patients better especially during winter periods.
“A lot of team work has gone in to meticulously design this bespoke unit. It’s almost ready and the huge investment in time and funds will soon be benefitting patients.”
Transforming the respiratory support unit
Jordan Pearson is a project officer from NTH Solutions, the wholly owned estates management subsidiary of our Trust. He commented: “It’s been hard work but this ward will soon be unrecognisable from the old unit.
“Developing a new respiratory unit isn’t just a redecorating job. It’s been a complete remodelling. We’ve knocked out walls, put new walls up, created new rooms, installed new electrics and oxygen lines. It’s a massive redevelopment.
“Our contractors Geoffrey Robinson Ltd have been great and we’ve had excellent support from the respiratory clinical team. We’ve worked together hand-in-hand throughout the whole project.”
During the redevelopment on the new support unit, respiratory patients have continued to be cared for in the hospital’s other high support units.
The new respiratory support unit is on track to be open to patients on Monday 22 November.