Walsall Healthcare Chief Executive Richard Beeken has enjoyed a tour of the work in progress to create a new obstetric theatre and expand the Neonatal Unit.
Richard joined Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Capital Projects Manager Tony Long and Skanska Project Manager John Cottrell on site last week, along with Neonatal Unit Senior Nurse/Ward Manager Lisa Poston.
The first stages of the £5.6m project have been completed and the air handling units were delivered and lifted into position for the new theatre last week. Neonatal refurbishment is progressing with mechanical and electrical installations as well as “live” refurbishment to create a new bathroom for disabled service users, a kitchen area and provision of medical gas supplies within overnight stay areas.
Richard said: “It’s difficult to appreciate just how much progress has been made over the last few months without having a good look round like this. I can see that we are going to be creating an improved environment for our babies and their families and look forward to seeing the end result.”
John Cottrell also highlighted the partnership between the trust and Skanska that is working well to keep developments on track.
“We’re liaising extremely closely with Lisa Poston and this is essential due to parts of the neonatal expansion having to be live – running alongside the existing day to day care and support offered through the existing unit.
“It makes major construction projects such as this so much easier as we’re communicating regularly and forward planning to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.”
The new Neonatal Unit will have a purpose-built Intensive Therapy Unit and High Dependency Unit.
Lisa added: “We will be able to increase our provision to 20 cots – taking our HDU cots from two to four and our special care cots from 11 to 14. This is a really exciting time for both our staff and the families we support because we’re really starting to get a clearer idea of how much more space we’ll have and how this will have a positive impact on those who use our maternity services.”