Today we are officially opening our state-of-the-art expansion and redevelopment of the Adult and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which will enable the treatment of more than 2,000 critically ill adults and babies every year.
The first phase of the Adult Intensive Care Unit was fast-tracked to open in March 2020 to treat the increased number of patients being cared for in our ICU due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With construction phases complete, the capacity of the new ICU has increased by 45%, allowing the Trust to care for an additional 500 patients per year.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has expanded by 40%, giving specialist care to 150 more babies every year, as well as providing better clinical space and family facilities.
Chris Chaney, Chief Executive Officer at CW+, said: “We launched our £12.5 million Critical Care Campaign in 2017 to help transform our ICU and NICU and are indebted to our supporters who enabled us to achieve our fundraising goal in just two years. We are so incredibly grateful to our friends, partners and the local community who made our shared vision to create these world-class facilities come true.”
Former patients Sophie and her one-year-old son, Louis, participated in the official opening today. Sophie caught COVID-19 when she was 29 weeks pregnant and ended up in intensive care, where her son Louis was born by emergency caesarean section two days later. Sophie was a patient in the Adult ICU for three weeks and her son spent the first eight weeks of his life in NICU.
Sophie said: “I cannot thank the amazing ICU and NICU teams at Chelsea and Westminster enough – they literally saved our family. I was in sedated and ventilated for a total of 15 days, after which I received specialist care including speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and psychological support from the dedicated ICU psychology team. I am so grateful that I was looked after by such an incredible team in the amazing, new facilities.”
The aim of our Trust has always been to build an optimum template for critical care services. With support from CW+, the Trust is delivering on this ambition to improve clinical outcomes, reduce costs, improve efficiency and reduce risks for patients, as well as influencing and setting a new benchmark for critical care facilities, both throughout the NHS nationally and internationally.
Lesley Watts, Chief Executive Officer at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a really proud moment for our Trust and a huge achievement, especially during these challenging times. So many people have been involved in the redevelopment and I can’t thank our staff, partners, CW+ and incredible donors enough for helping create this pioneering, modern and patient-centred critical care service in the UK.”