Intensive care unit in Harrogate reopens after £1m refurbishment

The Intensive Care Unit at Harrogate District Hospital has been officially reopened after an almost £1m refurbishment to increase capacity and improve the environment for patients.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:45 am

The ribbon was cut by former patient Ross Stewart following the major overhaul, which involved the whole unit being stripped down to its structural shell and rebuilt in order to create five side rooms as well as six beds across two open bays.

The renovation included new flooring, ceilings, doors and wall cladding, dimmable lights, engaging wall murals and LED ceiling panels featuring blue skies, clouds and trees in two of

the side rooms.

There are also two newly-refurbished relatives’ waiting rooms, televisions in each of the side rooms, upgraded wash basins throughout the unit, a new emergency lighting and fire detection system, fully integrated patient monitoring systems and upgraded medical gas pipework.

Bespoke floor to ceiling medical columns providing medical gases and the electrical supply for each bed space have been installed, making it easier for staff to move around the area freely.

Intensive Care Consultant Dr Sarah Marsh said: ““There are so many new changes to the environment that will make a huge difference to patients being cared for in the unit as well as for the staff working there too. Patients may be with us for many months so by improving the ward in which they will be cared for really does impact on their progress medically and as well as their overall wellbeing.

"We now have more natural light, illuminated ceilings and floor to ceiling vistas on the walls for example which can help to reorientate patients and provide a sense of the outside inside. The intensive care unit is a 24/7 service so we are always busy, but we believe we have created the best possible environment to help people feel as comfortable as possible, looked after and on the road to recovery.”

The work has been led by the hospital’s Capital Planning Team and members of the Intensive Care Unit team. It was undertaken after ICU was moved to a larger ward following an increase in demand for intensive care beds during the Covid-19 pandemic, thereby allowing access to the old unit for refurbishment.

Some of the work, such as the improved lighting and an updated relatives' room with a pull down bed an TV, was funded by Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity.

Dr Marsh added: “We had already begun to make plans to upgrade parts of the intensive care unit before the arrival of the pandemic so had given a lot of thought to what could be possible. So, when the opportunity arose for a more significant refurbishment, we were in a really good place to move forward quickly. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this transformation happen so quickly.

"We are so pleased with the new unit – it has a completely different look and feel now. It’s given everyone on the team a huge lift and moving back in will hopefully help to draw a line

under the pressures we’ve faced over the last 12 months. It is a really lovely location – modern, bright and airy. After an incredibly challenging year, this is a fantastically positive

step forward.