Revamp of Royal Preston's critical care unit is complete
A major overhaul of the critical care unit at the Royal Preston Hospital has been completed.
The patient-focussed elements of the £19m refurbishment and expansion were finished ahead of schedule last summer, bringing additional capacity to what is now a 34-bed facility.
The final two, staff-centred, stages of the programme have now been unveiled and feature improved rest and recuperation areas for the department's under-pressure workforce.
Although conceived long before Covid struck, the revamp has seen the creation of six isolation rooms, including two 'anterooms' whose positive air-pressure will assist patients and staff during pandemic situations.
A dedicated reception area for relatives was also unveiled when the first two phases of the work were completed ahead of schedule during the first lockdown last year - featuring locker spaces, a kitchen area and three counselling rooms to provide a private space for relatives to meet with medics away from the clinical areas.
The staff facilities include clinical skills rooms and rest areas, modern changing facilities and break-out spaces - including a one-to-one room. They were designed by architects Gilling Dod "to encourage mindfulness and positive wellbeing", according to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTH).
Trust chief executive Karen Partington welcomed the benefits of the newly-created areas for a workforce that has spent the last year under such strain.
“The final stages of the project have focused on providing first-class facilities for our hard-working staff who, despite feeling the physical and emotional pressures of the pandemic, have continued to show true heroism to ensure our most critically ill patients receive the best possible care.
“It has been a formidable team effort from everyone involved and I would like to send my sincere gratitude to you all – especially members of our community, who kindly donated to the project through our Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity.”
Critical care consultant Ed Denison-Davies, the lead clinician for the expansion project, said that the phases of the work completed last year had "helped significantly with patient care" during the third wave of the pandemic.
He added: "With the completion of this final phase, we have increased our total number of beds, delivered enhanced rest facilities and offices for staff which will be beneficial to their health and wellbeing and created new visitor facilities to improve the experience that relatives have when visiting their critically ill loved ones.”
A text donation service has also been established for the unit, with any money received intended to fund additional equipment, family-friendly facilities and learning opportunities for staff.
Anybody wishing to donate should ‘Critical plus amount’ to 70085.
Please consider subscribing to the Lancashire Post to support local journalism and help secure its vital role across Central Lancashire. Visit lep.co.uk/subscriptions - many thanks.