NHS trust to make further improvements to King George and Queen’s Hospitals

Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) is to invest £11.5m in enhancing and expanding critical care departments at its hospitals in Ilford and Romford.

At King George Hospital, Gooodmayes, £4m is to be spent on expanding the existing Critical Care Unit (CCU), doubling it in size to 15 beds, while at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, £7.5m will be spent on a new, modern, CCU.

The key in creating this unit will be ensuring that it is flexible, allowing the hospital to easily increase the number of beds quickly when faced with additional demand due to COVID waves or any future pandemics.

Both units are due to be complete by the end of the year.

Over £12m will be spent on upgrades to King George Hospital. Recent improvements to the Emergency Department (ED) have included a six-bed resuscitation development, Rapid Access and First Treatment (RAFTing) area and reconfiguring the ambulance entrance to improve access.

A further £3m will be spent on completing the ED, including improvements to the patient observation area and children’s ED.

The trust will also be investing £3m in a mechanical and electrical infrastructure upgrade, £1m on improving IT, and £1m on enabling works to house a new 3T MRI scanner.

An additional £2.5m will be designated for improvements to cyber security na agile working.

These projects are all due to be completed by the end of the year and will be funded from a capital spending pot of £39m.

Tony Chambers, BHRUT chief executive, said: “The pandemic has been challenging for the entire NHS, however, it does not mean we’ve stopped investing in improving our hospitals.

“Increasing the number of critical care beds across our hospitals will put us in better stead for dealing with any future increase in demand. We’ve used what we’ve learned from the pandemic to inform how we plan this, ensuring our new Critical Care Unit at Queen’s Hospital will be more flexible, allowing us to open more beds if needed quickly and easily.

“The areas where we are looking to invest our resources will also aid our recovery as life returns to something a bit more recognisable as normality, ensuring we get patients the care they need and reduce our waiting lists.”

Mick Ferris

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