Walsall Manor Hospital’s state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has celebrated its first anniversary today (Sunday 1 December 2019).
The ICU, constructed by Skanska, brought together Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and the High Dependency Unit (HDU) creating an 18-bedded unit.
This major development has allowed critical care teams to treat patients in individual rooms, preventing cross infection and ensuring their dignity and privacy. The standardisation of equipment at every bed space has meant any bed can be used for either an HDU or ITU patient, preventing them having to be moved. Each bed has 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 patient Francoise Ankrett and has been created using a kind donation from the family.
Lead Intensive Care Consultant Dr Aditya Kuravi explained that the move 12 months ago involved the hospital’s sickest patients.
“While we are well used to moving patients it was absolutely essential with a move of this scale to ensure our patients had the right equipment in the right place at the right time which is why the support of colleagues across clinical and non-clinical areas was key.”
So how have staff found the last year having come from completely different critical care environments into this brand new ICU? All agree that the time has flown by.
Senior Sister Ly Fletcher said: “There were a few teething problems as anyone would expect and even now I don’t think we can believe how big the unit is coming from really cramped, separate HDU and ITU units. But we evolve and work through the best solutions for both patients and staff. The last year has flown by.”
Sister Amy Blakemore said she feels that bringing the two units together has strengthened teamwork.
“Our outreach team rotates on to the unit and this helps all of us broaden our knowledge and experience.”
Senior Sister Alex Dudley is proud of the fact the Critical Care Response Team has been established over the last year.
Speciality Doctor Kumuduni Dissanayake is thrilled to be working in the new ICU as “it offers so much more privacy and dignity to our patients. It’s been a big change but the right one!”
And Rob Vilanueva feels the new environment makes him proud to be an ICU nurse and proud to work in such a state-of-the-art unit.
Kim Coverdale works in ICU admin and was among those helping out on moving day last year.
“I can’t believe it was a year ago we moved. This is so much better for our patients.”
Feedback gained through the Friends and Family Test has also been overwhelmingly positive from patients and their families.
“During patient’s stay all staff were excellent to patient and my family, often going beyond the call of duty. They kept us regularly updated without asking.
Nothing was too difficult for them and, most importantly, their social interaction with us and patient was like that of family.
This is something I will remember forever.”
“We would like to say a big thank you for all of your care and kindness when looking after patient. This has been a difficult time for our family made easier by all of your support.”