22 September 2021

Hospital trust wins estates award for intensive care unit

University Hospital Southampton (UHS) has received a prestigious national award for its state-of-the-art general intensive care unit (GICU) development.

The unit was opened in September last year and the project team behind it was named South West region winners in the 2021 Health Estates and Facilities Management Association (HEFMA) Awards which was held yesterday (21 September) live via Twitter.

The Trust’s new ward for blood cancers (C2 ward), a 27-bed unit built last year in just six months, was also shortlisted.

HEFMA hold the annual event to recognise the hard work and achievements of individuals and teams who work in estates and facilities management for the NHS across the country.

The GICU project team was made up of experts from the estates and facilities department at UHS, building contractors and clinicians including doctors and nurses who played a key role in designing the new facility.

The unit now provides 22 beds for the south’s most critically ill patients and treats around 2,500 people a year who all have severe, life-threatening injuries or illnesses.

The new build sits next to the front entrance of the hospital and took 18 months to complete, with BAM as the design and build contractor working closely with the Trust’s estates project team and a core group of clinicians.

It was delivered on time and within budget despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and went on to play a significant role in caring for patients with the infection who required intensive care support.

It covers 1,400 square metres and takes up the first floor of the five-storey block. It was paid for by savings made by the Trust.

The facility features a specialist rehabilitation area where patients can now have physiotherapy without the need to be taken to another part of the hospital. Southampton Hospitals Charity is running a £1m fundraising campaign to fund this area alongside private spaces for families of patients, a palliative care suite and a dedicated rest area where staff can take a break.

The unit incorporates contemporary lighting, smart glass (electrostatic) panels to enhance patient privacy, hoists to easily manoeuvre patients and innovative storage space for staff.

We’re absolutely delighted the GICU project has won the South West category in this year’s awards,” said Glen Campbell, principal projects manager at UHS.

“It is a tribute to every individual and team who has worked so hard to make this happen and to complete the first phase on time and on budget during what has been a very challenging period during the pandemic.

“It was no mean feat and is something we are all incredibly proud of.”

The previous part of GICU is still in use and adjoins the new build via a corridor but will undergo refurbishment next year, adding further capacity to the unit by taking the total number of beds to 31.

Dr Sanjay Gupta, lead GICU consultant at UHS, said:

“The new GICU couldn’t have come at a more crucial time with the pandemic putting extra pressure on the service with severely ill Covid patients on top of our usual admissions.

“It has been cleverly designed to create an environment that is modern, spacious, innovative and full of light where we can continue to provide the very best care for our most critically ill patients.

“It will also make such a big difference to our recovering patients, with a dedicated rehabilitation area as well as providing a private space for grieving families in the palliative care suite.”

He added: “The final part of the build will give us nine isolation rooms in a light and spacious ICU where highly infectious patients, including those suffering from Covid, can be looked after without affecting our non-Covid patient group.”

Since opening the unit has treated more than 1,700 patients, including 386 Covid patients.

Jeneen Thomsen, interim joint director at Southampton Hospitals Charity said:

We are delighted that our GICU team at UHS has won this prestigious award.

“The win is testament to the team’s thoughtful design and incredible work and the relationship between the building and the experience for patients is uplifting and serves to benefit their treatment and recovery.

“We’re enormously proud to have been a part of this inspiring project.”

The fundraising campaign needs another £500,000 to hit target. Make a donation here, or call 023 8120 8881.

News release issued by UHS 22 September 2021

Articles you may be interested in

28 October 2021

Golf day raises £18,000 for…

Unique Plumbing Supplies raised £18,000 through their annual golf day where local plumbers and heating installers came together for Piam Brown children's cancer ward in Southampton.

Find out more

25 October 2021

Make Christmas magical

We want every one of our NHS heroes, and all of the patients they treat, to enjoy a magical festive season – and you can help make it happen!

Find out more