Work is now complete on the first two phases of the expanded and refurbished state of the art Critical Care Unit at Royal Preston Hospital.
Although the project was planned long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, additional Government funding has enabled the work to be accelerated, allowing the first two phases to be completed several months ahead of schedule.
With increased natural light and enhanced patient facilities, the unit was designed by architects Gilling Dod with full support from the Critical Care Project Team. It now features 14 state of the art bed spaces, including six isolation rooms, two of which have ‘ante rooms’ that provide a negative-air chamber to isolate the workspace from the patient, which is designed to support a pandemic.
Upon completion in February 2021, the impressive 34-bed unit will deliver significant improvement for patients, relatives and staff. The new unit focuses on facilities for relatives which include a kitchen, lockers and purpose-built reception and waiting area.
The modern approach and finish will provide a calming environment for relatives, while purpose-built clinical areas will enhance the way staff work and provide care to the most critically ill patients within the hospital. Phases 3 and 4 offer a more staff-focused approach with a clinical skills room, staff rest areas and a quiet space encouraging mindfulness in what is a high-pressure workplace.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said:
“We are delighted to announce that the first two phases of work on our brand new Critical Care Unit are now complete and we will be ready to move patients in from next week. The new and improved facilities are of an exceptionally high quality, and the teams involved have worked so hard to make this project happen. This investment will improve both patient experience and the facilities for our incredibly dedicated team.”
Dr Daniel Cottle, Clinical Director in Critical Care and Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said:
“The whole team are thrilled to see the new unit complete- it looks amazing! They have put a huge amount of work into designing the unit and bringing it to life. There will be substantial improvements in the care they are able to provide for patients and for the environment that they work in. In what are challenging times, the refurbishment is such a positive change and it will really boost morale on the unit. I’d like to say a huge well done and thank you to everyone who has helped to make this a reality.”
The expansion has been managed by Integrated Health Projects (IHP), who work in partnership with the NHS to develop healthcare solutions which put the needs of patients and staff first, providing services and facilities that reflect the business aims of the Trust.
Adam Watts, IHP Project Manager, said:
“Last Friday after 11 weeks of acceleration measures, Phase 1 & 2 was successfully handed over on time. This has been a challenging project carried out in a time of crisis, what stands out most of all is that the team has all worked together throughout these difficult circumstances to create a positive 'can do' working environment where nothing was too much to ask.
IHP wishes to give thanks to everyone associated with the project for their determination, co-operation and commitment.”
IHP is a fully integrated joint venture between Sir Robert McAlpine and Vinci Construction.
John Roberts, Regional Managing Director at Vinci Construction UK, said:
“When the NHS asked us to accelerate the works, the country had gone into lockdown which made the challenge all the more difficult. Through the close collaboration 24-hours a day, seven days a week with the Trust’s team, IHP and our supply chain, we are proud to be standing here opening this facility to help the Trusts front line COVID-19 response and provide state of the art Critical Care beds for the future health provision for the people of Preston. The team are now looking forward to the next challenge of phases 3 & 4.”
The Critical Care Unit has also seen significant donations from the public, facilitated by the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity team. The public donations will fund a wide variety of additional items including reclining chairs and pull out beds for visitors; artwork; special exercise equipment to help patients with their recovery and furniture for the special counselling rooms within the Unit.