Health professionals working in an intensive care unit

New ICU to boost capacity and improve patient flow in Yorkshire

Patients in South Yorkshire are set to benefit from a new intensive care unit in a move that Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust believe can protect the region against current and future demand.

The £7.3m facility boosts the hospital’s capacity from its pre-pandemic level of seven beds to 16 – plus eight escalation bays.

In addition to the enhanced service capabilities, the expansion will also grant patients more privacy and more space; something Barnsley Hospital say will contribute to better patient flow and improved health outcomes. The new spacious environs will also enable clinicians to use specialist equipment at a patient’s bedside more effectively.

Barnsley Hospital’s Chief Executive, Richard Jenkins, said: “We’re investing heavily in our facilities right across the Trust. These critical care beds will not only expand our capacity to care for the most poorly patients, but will help relieve some of the pressures elsewhere in our hospital and allow our teams to ensure their patients receive the best possible treatment and care.’’

The Trust stress that the new development has been designed with a patient’s experience and wellbeing as a key consideration, which is why the incoming facility will move the intensive care unit back to its original place on the ground floor, following a forced relocation during the pandemic.

Intensive Care Lead Nurse at Barnsley Hospital, Laura Limb, explained: “We had wanted a new unit for some years because we needed the capacity and there were other issues like a lack of natural light.

“When COVID hit, the entire unit had to move up to floor five and take over two general ward areas, not ideal for an Intensive Care Unit, but we had to find a makeshift solution during the pandemic.”

Patients in the intensive care unit can look forward to a dedicated courtyard designed specifically for them, with visiting friends and family also able to benefit from roomier and more comforting surroundings.

Dr Tim Wenham, Clinical Director for Surgery at Barnsley Hospital, added: “This project is great news for both our patients and our staff as this high-quality, purpose-built unit will allow us to provide the best possible care for our patients.

“In addition to the massively improved space and environment there is also the huge safety advantage of greater proximity to theatres, radiology and the emergency department.”

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NHE May/June 2024

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