A new intensive therapy unit has opened at
Darlington Memorial Hospital.
The £5.5 million unit was agreed as part of the Seizing the
Future consultation, and creates additional capacity for intensive
care patients at the hospital.
The new unit has physical space for up to 8 patients compared to
the existing 5 bed unit. Four beds are in single isolation rooms
which improves arrangements for infection control.
The new unit is ideally located next to the existing high
dependency unit (HDU) and in close proximity to the Operating
Across the new intensive therapy unit, and the existing HDU,
which is to be retained, there is the potential to provide a
combined capacity of up to 14 critical care beds with flexible use
of resources and depending on levels of dependency. This also
"future proofs" the hospital for future ITU needs.
The new unit is also much more "user friendly" for staff , as it
will include a new fully integrated monitoring system to provide
clinical information and results at each bed space.
The new unit is built and equipped to the latest standards,
offering patients, visitors and staff first class
accommodation. The patient areas are spacious and well lit,
and clinical tams were involved in the design.
Richard Hixson, Consultant Anaesthetist said: "This is a modern
intensive care unit, built to a high specification which helps us
to give the best of care to our most dependent patients.
"It will also be a much better working environment for staff -
it is roomier, we have a seminar room for training purposes, and it
is a much more pleasant environment - the old unit did not have any
"A better environment for our staff also means a more
therapeutic environment for our patients - which is what this new
unit is all about."
The new unit was unveiled by Darlington MP Jenny Chapman.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community