A time capsule was buried outside Walsall Manor Hospital’s new Intensive Care Unit today, containing items to provide future generations with a glimpse of life in 2018.
The multi-million pound unit is due to receive its first patients in December.
Constructed by Skanska, it has brought together Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and the High Dependency Unit (HDU) creating an 18-bedded unit, which is an increase of five beds.
It is a prime development for the Trust that will bring significant improvements for the borough’s sickest patients and their families. Staff are also looking forward to moving out of extremely challenging critical care environments and into a state-of-the-art centre.
The time capsule contains items suggested by staff across the Trust’s hospital and community services and includes:
A BNF 74 – a book used by phramacists, doctors and nurses that reflects the medications used in this year
Calendar – featuring Tissue Viability colleagues from this Trust and neighbouring hospitals
New Scientist magazine
Copy of Auto Express magazine
Photos of the existing HDU and ITU
A £1 coin
A Well Wishers charity badge and information
Photos of the microbiology department.
Russell Caldicott, Walsall Healthcare’s Director of Finance and Performance, said: “We are just a few days away from patients being transferred into this fantastic new unit which is a culmination of many years of hard work and planning.
“Skanska colleagues dug up a previous time capsule that was buried in West Wing in 1989 and this gave us the idea of burying another one to mark the completion of this major project. It seems fitting to do so in the year that the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday.
“While the hospital site has seen many changes over the years, the commitment of its staff to provide safe, high quality care is the one constant. Who knows what medical advances will have been made by the time this capsule is dug up – we hope we’ll have given future generations something to talk about when they come across the items.”
John Cottrell, Skanska Project Manager, added: “Housekeeping staff have been busy deep cleaning the unit as we get into the final testing and commissioning phase of building services. All of us associated with this important project are proud of the first class facility that will be provided for the borough’s patients.”
The new ICU will allow the Trust to treat patients in individual rooms, preventing cross infection and ensuring their dignity and privacy. The standardisation of equipment at every bed space will mean any bed can be used for either an HDU or ITU patient, preventing them having to be moved. Each bed will have a ceiling-mounted pendant that supplies a comprehensive range of essential services including essential gases, power for equipment and IT links.
A relatives’ room has been created to better support families and friends of patients. The room has been named the ‘Francoise Suite’ in memory of a previous patient and kind donation from the family.