New Barnsley Hospital ICU for ill patients opened

A new intensive care unit (ICU) that will double the number of critically-ill patients able to be treated is to open at Barnsley Hospital.

The £7.3m expansion is designed to “future-proof” the unit as the trust aim to meet future demand for beds.

The capacity of the ICU will go from seven critical care beds to 16, plus eight escalation bays.

It will “relieve some of the pressures elsewhere in our hospital”, chief executive Richard Jenkins said.

Beds in the unit are to be more spaced out, with enhanced patient privacy and better lighting which Barnsley Hospital said would contribute to quicker recovery and shorter stays.

Laura Limb, intensive care lead nurse, said the need for a greater capacity had been wanted “for some years”.

When the Covid pandemic started, the ICU was moved to take over general ward areas in a makeshift solution.

The “pandemic-ready” facilities would now be able to increase from 16 beds to 24 beds “overnight”.

The new ward would be located near the surgical high-dependency unit which would improve patient journeys, the hospital spokesperson added.

Clinical director for surgery Dr Tim Wenham said the project was “great news for both our patients and our staff”.

“In addition to the massively improved space and environment there is also the huge safety advantage of greater proximity to theatres, radiology and the emergency department.”


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