Health Minister Robin Swann has officially opened the initial phase of the new £115million Acute Services Block (ASB) at Ulster Hospital, Dundonald.
Speaking following a tour of the new facilities Minister Swann said: “Today marks another major achievement for the hospital and the South Eastern Trust. These facilities will provide patients with state of the art services befitting the 21st Century.
“The Medical, Stroke, Renal, Gynaecology and Care of the Elderly wards will transfer to the new complex from the existing main ward block, which first opened its doors in 1962, on Saturday 6 November. With the hospital’s Emergency Department to move to the new block in the spring of next year.
“The new building will house 213 beds across 9 wards providing essential links with both the recently constructed Inpatient Ward Block and Critical Care Complex, enhancing patient flow and visitor access throughout the hospital site.”
A new Nuclear Medicine service, has also been installed to provide a diagnostic and treatment service for both adults and children.
Consultant Dr Kevin Dynan said: “Having toured the new wards it is not an exaggeration to say that the facilities are state of the art. The side rooms and treatment areas will ensure that our patients benefit from the very highest levels of privacy, comfort and excellent care. The single rooms and the extra space will also help us to maintain the highest standards of infection control. While this has always been important, it is especially so in the era of the Covid pandemic.”
“The Ulster Hospital’s original wards have served the local population well for the last 6 decades, but as they approach their 60th birthday the time is right for this brand new Acute Services Block to enable the Ulster Hospital to keep meeting the healthcare needs of our patients for the next 60 years.”
A visitor waiting area is conveniently located outside each ward entrance, with views across the inner landscaped courtyards, containing a number of sculptures from local artists.
The Interim lead nurse for Unscheduled Care Rhonda Marks says staff are excited about the move. She said: “This Acute Services Block will enable staff to continue to deliver a high quality of care to acutely unwell patients, in a superior work environment. This welcoming, bright and spacious area will allow us to ensure each patient’s stay is a much more positive experience.”
The Trust’s Chief Executive Roisin Coulter said: “We are immensely proud of the Acute Services Block which delivers state of the art facilities to improve infection control, patient experience, privacy and dignity and will provide our staff with fit for purpose, modern facilities in which to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.”
Notes to editors:
- The vast majority of the wards provide patients with a single ensuite bedroom, some of them with excellent views over the Castlereagh Hills and Knock Golf Course.
- Each of these single rooms is designed to maximise natural light and provide good ventilation. They have been fitted out with bespoke cabinets, housing overhead hoists and medicines. The rooms are also equipped with up to date technology, such as a remote control which patients can use to operate the lights, blinds and TV.
- There is also an out of bed system for patients who are at risk of falling. When activated, the system alerts staff and a light illuminates outside their bedroom.
- These rooms provide privacy and dignity while also ensuring optimal observation of patients by staff, when required.
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