A new medical intensive care unit will open within the General Hospital next week.
The opening of the unit is one of a number of key building projects within the Hospital in 2012, which are supported by the States of Jersey, Property Holdings department.
The projects follow the culmination of improvements within the Hospital in 2011.
Andrew McLaughlin, managing director of the General Hospital said: “The opening of this new medical intensive care unit represents what we are doing throughout the Hospital. We must ensure our facilities in Jersey are as good as they can be for our patients, their families and our staff, within our hospital. In an area such as intensive care, this is of critical importance and I am very pleased with the speed at which this work has progressed and would like to thank everyone involved with the project with particular mention of the clinical staff, the contractors and our design team headed by David Ahier, our senior project manager. There is much more to be done to make the Hospital as good as I want it to be but I think the achievements of the last year demonstrate the excellent start we have made. With continuing support from the States, we will be able to ensure that we can all remain justly proud of our Hospital and the dedicated team who work so hard to deliver care to the people of Jersey.
Mr McLaughlin added: “Many projects such as the expansion and refurbishment of the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), the creation of a dedicated Medical Day Care Unit and the first phase of the refurbishment of the Intensive Care Unit have been carried out during 2011.
“Significant planning and preparation was also undertaken to support other building projects in the Hospital for completion over the next two years. I am pleased to confirm that as part of our ongoing programme to bring the clinical facilities at the General Hospital up to the latest standards, we will be starting work on a number of important building projects during 2012 to include a state of the art maternity operating theatre, a new expanded oncology department, a complete refurbishment of main outpatients, an expansion and upgrade of the renal unit, a new dermatology department and completion of the second phase of the new Intensive Care Unit to name but a few.”
The first phase of building a modern purpose built Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been completed with the opening next week of a five-bed Medical Intensive Care Unit decant facility which will be available as a new Medical High Dependency Unit once the new ICU is completed. This new facility, situated within Plemont Ward, will enable the next phase of the project to commence with refurbishment and extension of the existing ICU to create a seven-bed purpose-built general Intensive Care Unit.
The project lead is Gary Kynman, Divisional Lead/Head of Nursing for In-Patient Services at the General Hospital. He said: “Appreciating these are tough financial times, it was good to see an island-based company win the contract which will support the Jersey economy. I am also pleased that our plans ensured patient care was not disrupted during the six months taken to complete the first phase of works within Plemont Ward. This has been a fantastic team effort and special thanks must go to the staff of Plemont ward and the local contractors (Larsens).”
The ICU project will cost a total of £2.95 million and is due for completion in the summer of 2013. Mr Kynman added: “We can now commence the rebuilding of the ICU to bring it up to the latest standards. As part of the modernisation we will have a new ventilation system which changes the air ten times every hour and two isolation rooms to assist with maintaining infection control standards. In addition to improving the clinical environment with new equipment, there will be considerably more space between patients. This will improve important considerations such as patient privacy and help medical and nursing staff when delivering care to critically ill patients.
The current Intensive Care Unit was opened in 1989 with the surgical intensive care facilities providing care for around 200 patients a year, while between 450 and 550 patients are looked after by medical intensive care.