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New £4.3m ward at UHNM opens

A new £4.3 million respiratory ward was officially opened at University Hospitals of North Midlands today providing state-of-the-art facilities for patients needing advanced respiratory care.

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.

Cutting the ribbon to open the new ward Sister Tracy Mellor 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.”

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”.

Lisa Thomson, Director of UHNM Charity, said: “UHNM Charity was delighted to be able to support this wonderful new ward by funding the unique murals on each of the walls in the side rooms. Many of the patients are often in for a long stay and these kind of enhancements to the environment can provide a positive boost to patients and are only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters.”