A multi-million pound project to significantly expand and refurbish the existing Critical Care Unit at the Royal Preston Hospital has now been completed.
Phases one and two of the four-phase project were completed several months ahead of schedule and opened to patients last summer; featuring state-of-the-art facilities, including six isolation rooms incorporating two dedicated anterooms that provide positive air-pressure which support the current, and any future, pandemic for both patients and staff.
Phases three and four of the project took a staff-focused approach; installing clinical skills rooms and staff rest areas, which are vital to supporting the health and wellbeing of staff, who over the past 12 months have felt the pressures both physically and emotionally of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The 34-bed state-of-the-art unit now features facilities for both patients and staff and for the first time, a dedicated reception area for relatives, featuring locker spaces, a kitchen area, and three counselling rooms that offer a calm and comfortable space for relatives to meet with clinicians away from the clinical setting.
The improved staff areas feature modern staff changing facilities, break-out areas; including a 1:1 room, architecturally designed by Gilling Dod to encourage mindfulness and positive wellbeing.
Although the project was planned long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, investment from the Government, via the Critical Care Hospital Cell, helped to accelerate the renovation.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “I’m delighted to announce that our four-phase project to expand and renovate our Critical Care Unit is now complete.
“The final stages of the project have focused on providing first-class facilities for our hard-working staff who despite feeling the physical and emotional pressures of the pandemic have continued to show true heroism to ensure our most critically ill patients receive the best possible care.
“It has been a formidable team effort from everyone involved and I would like to send my sincere gratitude to you all – especially members of our community, who kindly donated to the project through our Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity.”
Generous donations received from the public, particularly over the past 12 months, supported by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, also helped to set-up the unit’s own text donation service. Donations received will help to fund additional equipment, family friendly facilities, and learning opportunities for Critical Care staff.
Ed Denison-Davies, a Critical Care Consultant, has been the clinical lead on the expansion project and said: “The expansion and refurbishment of the Critical Care unit has enhanced the care and rehabilitation facilities, as well as the physical environment for our patients from Lancashire and South Cumbria.
“The completion of the previous phases has helped significantly with patient care during the third wave of this pandemic, and now with the completion of this final phase we have increased our total number of beds, delivered enhanced rest facilities and offices for staff which will be beneficial to their Health and Well-Being and created new visitor facilities to improve the experience that relatives have when visiting their critically ill loved ones.”
The expansion has been managed by Integrated Health Projects (IHP), the joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine, who works in partnership with the NHS to develop healthcare solutions that put the needs of patients and staff first, providing services and facilities that reflect the business aims of the Trust.
Adam Watts, IHP Senior Construction Manager, said: “Today marks final completion of this key phased project. Having constructed the Critical Care Unit during an extraordinary period, we have seen exceptional collaboration across the whole team. Everyone has worked towards a common goal during this pandemic in delivering the facility which will ultimately save lives.
“We are delighted to have worked on the project and thank all Trust members involved, which has enabled us to complete the project on time. We are certain the facility will support Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in continuing to deliver the very best in-patient care.”
Date: 16 March 2021