A new purpose-built and fully equipped 20 single bedded ward has been officially opened today, 20 July, at the Trust by the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Richard Billington. The opening was also attended by the MP for Guildford, Angela Richardson and the Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Caroline Reeves.
The official opening of the new £4 million building, named the Guildford Borough Ward, comes after the Trust built the facility in only 14 weeks, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The guests were taken on a tour of the ward which includes 20 single rooms which are fully equipped to provide a high standard of treatment including non-invasive ventilation with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).
In March, the Trust identified the need for the additional single rooms to treat patients with infectious diseases.
They worked with Guildford Borough Council to submit a planning application in record time, completing the build in just 14 weeks.
Louise Stead, Chief Executive of the Trust said:
“The safety and care of both our patients and staff remain the Trust’s biggest priority.
“This new ward was commissioned to increase single room capacity and through collaborative working with the Council we have managed to get this new ward up and running in record time and it is now ready to receive patients.”
The ward will be used to provide safe care for patients who need to be cared for in a single room with a high level of monitoring. This is particularly important for patients with Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19, but can also be used to treat patients with other conditions requiring close monitoring and isolation.
Twenty-eight staff members from across the Trust have volunteered to be redeployed from other departments, including the Emergency Assessment Unit which became one of the hospital’s dedicated Covid-19 wards during the peak of the pandemic, to work in the new ward.
Louise Stead added:
“I would also like to say thank you to volunteers from the Bouygues Group for spending their free time over the weekend with their families to help landscape and plant flowers in the spaces around the new ward, which were all donated by Bouygues. This will provide a nice outdoor space for the enjoyment of patients and staff alike.”
Councillor Caroline Reeves, Leader of Guildford Borough Council, said:
“The new ward is a fantastic asset for our communities and will enable the brilliant staff at Royal Surrey to ensure that any infectious patients receive the very best possible care in a dedicated space.
“The Trust asked us to collaborate in granting emergency planning permission to build the ward during lockdown and it is impressive to now see the unit up and running and ready to go.
“We were delighted when we were also asked to help brighten up the ‘Guildford Ward’ with wonderful images of well-known sites from our beloved borough and our talented member of staff Dan Hannington was proud to provide photographs. We hope the patients enjoy them.”
The building of the new ward was a mammoth task, involving the levelling of 4,200 tonnes of soil and laying of 11,000 tonnes of foundations and footings.