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A new 28-bed specialist respiratory unit has been created at Warrington Hospital as part of the Trust’s Winter Plan to manage the anticipated pressures of COVID-19 and ‘flu over the coming months.
The Unit on ward B18 has been designed to provide dedicated respiratory care and patients previously located on ward A7 will now be treated on this unit. Of the 28 beds, 14 can be stepped up to become ‘enhanced care’ beds capable of providing the same level of care as the ICU. Four Bioquell pods - which provide a negative-pressure environment to combat potential infections – have also been installed.
A further three isolation side rooms, a state-of-the art procedure and treatment room, and a new relatives/quiet room complete the ward’s new facilities.
Dan Moore, Chief Operating Officer said the new ward will be able to manage complex respiratory illnesses while adding flexibility to cope with any winter surges.
“This new unit will be the base from which we will continue to provide excellent high quality care to our acutely unwell respiratory patients and as well as future proofing to manage any potential pandemic surges and other demands upon our service, the Trust and the wider local community.
“One of the most exciting aspects of the unit is the adjacency to ICU which fosters crossover and close working with the ICU teams. This working collaboration, formed during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, produced the much-lauded ‘Black Box’ CPAP device as well as reducing the numbers of patients needing invasive ventilation.
“As well as investing in the best equipment for the ward, we also paid very close attention to our patients’ experiences. We consulted with patients about the things they missed the most while in hospital. Hence, during the reconfiguration of the new ward, we came up with the theme of outdoor spaces. Respiratory patients struggling with breathlessness often prefer to be by a window. While this is not always possible, the estates team helped us simulate the outdoors by adding cloud lighting panels and wall murals.”
Chief Executive Simon Constable (centre, behind) joins the staff of the new Acute Respiratory Unit, including Dr Mithun Murthy Clinical Lead for Respiratory (front left), Ward Manager Katy Rose (centre, front) and Respiratory Matron Sarah Hargadon (front right).