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Royal Free Hospital opens new high dependency unit for surgery patients

PUBLISHED: 14:50 28 January 2019

Nurses with the first patient to be in the new unit. Staff nurse Kathy Doherty, Staff nurse Anna Hawro, patient Paul McKenzie and charge nurse Deny Chacko. Picture: Royal Free Hospital

Nurses with the first patient to be in the new unit. Staff nurse Kathy Doherty, Staff nurse Anna Hawro, patient Paul McKenzie and charge nurse Deny Chacko. Picture: Royal Free Hospital

Archant

A new high dependency unit for surgery patients has opened at the Royal Free Hospital.

The ward opened on Friday, and is for patients who do not need the highest level of intensive care after surgery.

Those who do will continue to be placed in the hospital’s intensive therapy unit (ITU). The new facility at the Pond Street site has cost £2million.

Its first patient was 52-year-old Paul McKenzie, who was recovering after having a gall-bladder operation on Thursday.

He said it was “great” to be the first patient in the ward, and is on the mend.

Catherine Cameron, senior clinical operations manager for theatre services said: “Because we are doing more complex surgery at the RFH, there is a greater need this type of ward.

“Every day we have four or five patients who currently go to ITU and at least half of these could be cared for in the surgical high dependency unit (SHDU) for one night before going to a ward.

“The new unit will free up beds in ITU for patients who need the highest level of care, and means we can provide care that is tailored to the needs of patients who don’t.”

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