A new £8m Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been unveiled at Hull Royal Infirmary to treat critically ill and injured patients from all over Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is opening the 24-bed unit next week to provide some of the best critical care facilities in the country.
The three-storey unit, next to Hull Royal Infirmary’s Emergency Department, also features modern isolation facilities to make sure the hospital can cope with further waves of Covid-19 or another pandemic in the future.
Chief Executive Chris Long said: “This fantastic unit will support our outstanding critical care teams by providing some of the best facilities in the country.
“As a major trauma centre for the entire region, our new unit will help us save more lives and provide our sickest and most critically injured patients, as well as their relatives and our staff, with cutting-edge equipment in a modern environment.
“It puts our area in the best possible position to deal with any future waves of the virus or, indeed, any other pandemic in the future.”
Patients will receive specialist one-to-one care in glass-front cubicles, double the size of the cubicles in the two existing ICUs in the tower block.
There are 12 cubicles on each floor, split into identical halves separated by a central observation area for staff.
Every cubicle has a Draegar ceiling pendant for essential services including medical gases to maximize the floor space. This means doctors, nurses and other health professionals such as physiotherapists will be able to perform their tasks more easily around the patient’s bed.
Electric hoists have also been fitted so staff can lift patients safely, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal problems in the future.
Cubicles will be fitted with negative air extraction systems to assist infection prevention and control. Six of the 12 on each floor have “donning and doffing” anterooms so staff can care for patients with Covid-19 or any other infectious disease.
The new ICU is being constructed in line with the trust’s Zero Thirty campaign and will be as energy efficient as possible with its own heat pumps, air conditioning, chillers and heat recovery systems. This means the unit will remain cool enough for patients and staff in the summer but warm enough in the cooler months.
A dedicated bed lift connects the ICU to the theatre complex in the main Hull Royal Infirmary tower block via a link bridge over Lansdowne Road. This will also be used to take patients from the ICU for MRIs or scans, preventing the need for them to be wheeled outside to the MRI suite.
A staff-only link staircase will also be created to ensure teams can access the tower block without having to leave the building.
A separate area with staff rest rooms, offices and support services including Medical Physics has also been created as part of the unit.
As part of the ongoing project, two new trauma theatres will be created on the top floor, with six to eight recovery beds to monitor patients in those critical first few hours after surgery.
The new theatre floor will also act as a decant space so the existing ICUs can undergo routine maintenance.
An extension is being built next to the ICU to provide support accommodation for staff including rest rooms, offices and support services including Medical Physics.
Duncan Taylor, Director of Estates, Facilities and Development, paid tribute to the trust’s Capital Development team and other Estates staff who have managed the project.
He said: “Our team has worked hand-in-hand with our clinical colleagues who deliver the care to design the unit with their needs and the needs of the people they care for at the forefront of every decision and plan.
“The result is an Intensive Care Unit which symbolizes the futures of critical care and we’re very proud that Hull and our trust is at the forefront of this innovation.”