Construction work has started on a new £18.6m ward block at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
The two-storey, 62-bed development will be sited at the front of the hospital’s new £19m emergency department extension which is already taking shape.
The ward block will provide 50% single en-suite rooms for patients and will feature an acute assessment and coronary care unit as well as facilities for acutely ill patients who may have previously been treated in the high dependency part of the hospital’s critical care centre.
The project is part of a wider £150m improvement scheme due for completion at the end of 2014.
Once finished, the hospital will become the main inpatient and emergency service centre for parts of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Nick Carver, chief executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “It’s not only great to see builders starting to dig the foundations for our new ward block, but it’s right next to the new emergency department extension at the Lister that has been taking shape so quickly.
Between them, these two new developments represent nearly £40m of investment in new services at the hospital, which are at the heart of its transformation into the main acute hospital for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
We know from the very successful changes made already to the trust’s maternity and emergency surgery services that it is possible to redesign clinical services in ways that provide our patients with better care and improved experience, while costing less money to run
“We know from the very successful changes made already to the trust’s maternity and emergency surgery services that it is possible to redesign clinical services in ways that provide our patients with better care and improved experience, while costing less money to run. For example, our new maternity unit is already proving very popular with new mothers and staff alike, yet saves £1m a year in running costs alone.”
The new ward block will have an acute assessment unit on the ground floor with 24 beds and 14 specialist trolleys that will be used by staff to manage acutely unwell patients referred by GPs, as well as those transferred from the new emergency department. On the first floor there will be 38 beds for coronary care patients.
The unit is also adjacent to the recently-enlarged Hertfordshire Cardiac Centre, which houses the trust’s two catheterisation laboratories. This makes the ward block ideally placed to manage the increased number of acutely unwell patients that will be treated at the Lister as remaining inpatient and emergency services transfer from the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City by the end of next year.
The ward block is one of 11 projects that form part of the trust’s overall £75m phase four redevelopment of the Lister. At the same time NHS Hertfordshire will be creating the New QEII Hospital, which will provide a wide range of outpatient, diagnostic and ante/post natal services, as well as 24/7 local A&E.
Other services being created at the hospital are a new emergency department, operating theatres and endoscopy block extension.
The construction work is being carried out by Integrated Health Projects, a joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine, under the ProCure21+ framework. The development was designed by AD Architects.