Intensive care in a calming new environment


Staff to move into redeveloped West Cumberland Hospital

Staff in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are gearing up for a whole new way of working when they move into the redeveloped West Cumberland Hospital in less than eight weeks’ time.

In many respects, the new unit – which treats the most-acutely-unwell patients in the hospital – will be just like the existing one. There will still be six beds, with the same faces looking after the patients.

But in other ways ICU in the new hospital will be very different to the current set-up.

Staff nurse, Janet Walker, explains: “Obviously, it all looks and feels very clean and new. It is very clinical, as you would expect, but also calming, with lovely lilac walls.

“The main difference is that all the patients will be treated in single cubicle rooms, rather than in one big open unit. It will be much more private for the patients and a nicer environment for their families too.”

At the centre of the unit is a spacious nursing station, with much more desk space, storage and computer points. From here, nurses can see into all of the rooms, which, although private, have large windows allowing the staff to monitor patients effectively. One noticeable difference is the amount of natural light flooding into the new unit.

Critical care matron, Diane Murchison, said: “The ICU medical and nursing team have been involved in the designing of the new unit from the outset. We have been consulted on the layout of the unit, the specific equipment required for an ICU, and the necessary furniture we would need. We are all very proud of our new facilities and are looking forward to working in this new environment.”

The unit has a lot more storage space for drugs and equipment and better facilities for patients’ loved ones, with a relatives’ room where they can stay complete with ensuite shower and toilet.

The move will also see the introduction of Metavision – an electronic patient information system connected to each patient bed space, which will record every aspect of patient data with great accuracy.

The location of every ward and department in the new hospital has been carefully thought out – ICU is next to the Coronary Care Unit and very close to Accident & Emergency, all forming part of the Critical Care floor. This will lead to great improvements in patient flow when the new hospital opens in October 2015.

The hospital was designed by Gilling Dod Architects.

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