Work underway on new state-of-the-art £3m Critical Care Unit to revolutionise care for the most seriously ill patients at South Tyneside District Hospital

Work is underway at South Tyneside District Hospital to construct a new £3m Critical Care Unit with state-of-the-art facilities to help treat some of the hospital’s most seriously ill patients.

The six bed unit will provide additional space to house specialist equipment and more room for staff to work as well as incorporating a smart glass facility in each room, which can be switched between opaque for privacy and clear so staff can see in for observations.

The new development will provide a “much needed upgrade” on the previous unit which was “no longer fit for purpose” and didn’t have enough space.

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There will also be a dedicated family room which it is hoped will make visiting a better experience for relatives and friends.

Staff will also benefit from a new changing area and seminar room, and the unit will mirror the facilities available at Sunderland Royal Hospital, making it much easier for staff at the Trust working across both sites.

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Helen Turnbull, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Divisional Director for Theatres and Critical Care, said: “This new unit will make a real difference to our critical care patients and also make it a much better, brighter and more modern place for our staff to work in and for our patients’ loved ones to visit.

“The department will be in line with what we already have at Sunderland, with the same equipment and layout, and will create a much better environment for us to look after some of our sickest patients and support their loved ones with dignity.

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Work is underway on the construction of the new £3 million Critical Care Unit at South Tyneside District Hospital.

“We’re already seeing the work progress and know this will be a great addition to our hospital as we future proof our facilities for years to come.”

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Construction work is taking place on the Ingham Wing, in the main hospital building, providing easy access to other key areas such as the emergency departments, radiology and theatre.

Building work is being carried out by construction company Tolent and is due for completion by the end of this year (2022).

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Tolent’s Divisional Director, David Thompson, said: “We are thrilled to have commenced work on this amazing project and it is great to be part of the solution that is bringing about positive change to NHS services in the region.

The new unit will mirror the facilities available at Sunderland Royal Hospital, making it much easier for staff working across both sites. Photograph: Jim Varney
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“The project builds upon our existing healthcare portfolio with recently completed projects at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman Hospital and Nightingale North East.”

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The new Critical Care Unit signals the latest in an ongoing series of developments at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Work is continuing on the £10 million Integrated Diagnostic Centre, which will be kitted out new with scanning technology, while its new £2 million endoscopy unit and £800,000 inpatient pharmacy opened late last year (2021).

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A £200,000 construction project is also underway to revamp the resuscitation area of the hospital’s Emergency Department, turning open bays into rooms, with an extended space set up for cardiac and trauma patients.

The project, which will also see the doctors’ station updated, is expected to take around two months to complete.