Development of hi-tech critical care unit begins at Barnsley hospital

Illingworth & Gregory (I&G) have commenced work on the development of a brand-new, state-of-the-art  critical care unit (CCU) at Barnsley Hospital.

This latest scheme follows the recent completion of the remodelled Emergency Department and Adult Majors Unit, as well as the Children’s Emergency Department and Assessment Unit which form part of the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s investment in a series of improvements across its Gawber Road site.

Marking another milestone in the Trust’s wider capital development projects, the new £7.3m CCU is due to complete in late 2022 and will double capacity from the hospital’s current 16 critical care beds to 32. This will allow the hospital to meet current demand pressures and future proof the hospital’s capacity to care for the most unwell patients.

I&G’s Managing Director, Sean Henderson said

“This is another complex project for I&G on behalf of the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, not only in that we’ll be undertaking works within a live hospital environment, but also due to the confined space in which some of the construction will be taking place.

“The team will be demolishing a single-storey link building located between two existing external courtyards, to make way for a new structure to infill the space.

“To do this we’ll be using smart methods to utilise this space to ensure the end result enhances patient care and the way in which staff are able to deliver it. A portion of the courtyard will also be retained for an external wellbeing area for staff, patients and their families.”

The impressive new unit will also enhance patient experience and wellbeing, with more appropriately sized and spaced out beds, better lighting and décor as well as enhanced provisions for patient privacy. All factors which will contribute to shorter stays, quicker discharges and speedier recoveries in general.

Barnsley Hospital’s Clinical Director for Surgery Dr Tim Wenham said:

“This project is great news for both our patients and staff. This high-quality, purpose-built unit will allow us to provide the best possible care for our patients.

“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.”

Patients will benefit from access to natural light and improved privacy among many other general improvements. Evidence indicates improved patient wellbeing leads to a shorter CCU stay, speedier recovery, and earlier discharge.

Associate Director of Nursing Helen Green added:

“Our new unit will have a purpose-built visitor reception and waiting room, so we can properly welcome people at what is often a very distressing time.

“The new relatives’ room has been designed to be sensitive to the needs of staff and relatives who may be required to have difficult conversations about the care of their loved ones.”

To make room for the expansion, I&G will first be demolishing offices and other administration facilities behind the hospital’s main reception.

Read the latest progress updates here.