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Guildford Borough Fast-Build Isolation Ward Stands Ready at the Royal Surrey

Published on: 20 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 21 Jul, 2020

Guildford Borough Ward situated at the front of the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

The new purpose-built and fully equipped 20-cubicle isolation ward at the Royal Surrey was officially opened today (July 20) by the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Richard Billington.

The opening was also attended by the MP for Guildford, Angela Richardson and the Guildford Borough Council leader, Caroline Reeves.

The official opening of the £4 million building was built in only 14 weeks as a pandemic response and named the Guildford Borough Ward because of the way the council cut through red tape to get it done quickly.

The guests toured the 20 single rooms, fully equipped to provide a high standard of treatment including non-invasive ventilation with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).

Richard Billington, the Mayor of Guildford, cuts the ribbon to declare the ward open.

In March, the Trust identified the need for the additional single rooms to treat patients with infectious diseases. They worked with GBC 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 is 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.

Members of staff join representatives of Guildford Borough Council for the opening ceremony.

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.

Ms Stead added: “I would also like to thank 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.”

Cllr Reeves 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.

Dan Hannington with his photographs used top decorate the new ward.

“We were delighted when we were also asked to help brighten up the ‘Guildford Ward’ with wonderful images of well-known sites from our borough. Our talented staff member Dan Hannington was proud to provide photographs and we hope the patients enjoy them all.”

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.

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Responses to Guildford Borough Fast-Build Isolation Ward Stands Ready at the Royal Surrey

  1. C Nicholls Reply

    July 21, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Whilst I understand the reason for having an off-site facility for Covid patients, freeing up the main hospital, the ward has been built on top of the bulldozed land and trees. This has created a steep hill necessitating the building of a couple of flights of steps making it far less accessible, particularly as this was the main pedestrian walkway into the hospital from the Tesco side and the bus stops and was previously a flat and easy pathway.

    Additionally, I note there are now 40 large ventilator fans facing outwards which presumably will be pumping out used air on to the pedestrian walkway. Is the hospital going to be providing any other access for pedestrians or people arriving by bus who used to access from that side?

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