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Bradford’s new state-of-the-art intensive care unit will be ‘oasis of calm’

Bradford – A new, innovative intensive care unit will be an ‘oasis of calm’, designed to deliver the best possible patient experience and care.

The £4.75million state-of-the-art unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary is part of the new £28 million wing and is due for completion at the end of this year.

This new facility will provide Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with 16 single bedrooms – two of which are full isolation suites – replacing its current intensive care unit.

ICU what the new unit might look like_design example 1The intensive care unit (ICU) has been designed by Bridger Carr Architects after extensive consultation with clinical staff in order to gain a thorough understanding of how care is delivered.

Each room, designed for one-to-one specialist care, has switchable glass around two sides. This provides high levels of infection control and privacy and dignity, and allows the glass walls to change from frosted to transparent at the flick of a switch, giving clear, uninterrupted views without the need to enter the room and disturb the patient.

The bedrooms have been grouped together in four bed clusters allowing intensive care staff to work in teams, alleviating the sense of isolation that staff can sometimes feel working in an environment of single bedrooms.

Other benefits of the single bedrooms are that both patients and their visitors have a much better experience; not disturbing or being disturbed by other patients and visitors. Maintenance teams will also be able to access rooms individually without impacting additional bed spaces. This reduces ‘down time.’

Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia and Clinical Lead for Theatres and Critical Care, Dr Richard Davidson said: “The new intensive care unit has been designed with one simple vision, to provide an environment where the Clinical Team can deliver the best possible patient experience and care.

“This has been achieved through extensive consultation with the Clinical Staff, gaining a thorough understanding of how they deliver care, and Bridger Carr’s passion for designing a therapeutic healing environment. Each room is designed to be an oasis of calm.”

Architects Andy Bridger and Deborah Carr have a wealth of experience in designing intensive care facilities, having designed the Sunderland Royal Hospital ICU. They are now bringing to Bradford many of the innovations in the delivery of intensive care they introduced there.

Innovation has been at the centre of the design process and is reflected in fittings and fixtures which include fluid disposal units integrated in each bedroom so that patient washing water doesn’t need to be carried through the facility with the potential for spillages and cross infection. There are also pass through bins so that the cleaning team can empty the bins without entering the rooms and ceiling mounted hoists.

But a real state-of-the-art feature is a daylight-emulating lighting system, which works to synchronise the patient body clock with the natural rhythms of the day. This provides a warm, blue light in the morning to stimulate patients when waking up, and then in the evening, a red hue light works to relax patients, preparing them for sleep and significantly aiding the healing process.

This lighting system can also be changed to any colour within the spectrum providing patients with a level of control over their environment in a place where almost everything else is controlled for them.

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