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New £5.5 million Intensive Therapy Unit at Darlington Memorial Hospital

DMH ITUA 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 Theatres.

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 windows!

"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.

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital