New cancer care ward opened at UHS - built in just six months

More patients will be able to receive potentially life-saving treatments for blood cancers following the opening of a brand new ward at University Hospital Southampton.

The 27-bed unit was built in just six months by contractors who worked with the Trust estates team and clinicians to ensure the project was delivered ahead of time, despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. C2 building (3)

The new ward will give oncology and haematology patients comfortable and spacious surroundings to be cared for whilst undergoing gruelling treatment for cancer that can often mean staying in hospital for several months at a time.

The new C2 ward accommodates 27 inpatients, with 11 single-bed side rooms with enhanced ventilation for those who are immuno-suppressed, which means more patients can undergo bone marrow transplant treatments that require isolating for several weeks.

>>>> Take a virtual tour around the new ward here<<<<<

Matron Jennifer Milner said: “This new build is absolutely the result of fantastic team work across the Trust, particularly by the estates team and contractors who have worked through a really difficult time and still managed to deliver the project in around six months.

“This new ward gives our patients who are going through some really tough treatments, the sort of space and environment that makes that experience a bit easier to cope with. When restrictions allow, the side rooms can accommodate extra beds so patients’ families can give them the support they need and we are hoping to be able to kit out the rooms with fridges and kettles to provide some home comforts too.”

Along with providing a modern and spacious environment, the new £7.3m building, funded as a result of Trust’s capital programme, also includes a quiet room for families and patients to have space to come to terms with difficult news, and rest areas for staff have breaks.

Not only does the new building provide a more comfortable space for patients and staff, it is also kinder to the environment as the building fabric is 20 per cent more efficient than required by building regulations in order to reduce heating and cooling costs and the consequent carbon use. Solar panelling is provided on the roof with the scope to double the capacity once the wider electrical infrastructure is in place. 

Jeff Belk, head of estate projects, paid tribute to the project team, led by Ed Ellert, one of the Trust’s principal project managers, with support from colleagues Andrea Cross and Sally Haynes working in collaboration with the designers Kendall Kingscott and contractors, LST Projects.

He said: “The whole project team should also be recognised, as should the work of the estates infrastructure team who supported with the amount of electrical work involved. Every member of the team should be proud of achieving such a fast programme, particularly during the pandemic, when both labour availability and materials faced supply issues. It is a real testament to what can be achieved when a group of people work together as a team.”

>>>>Watch the time lapse video of the build<<<<

Consultant haematologist Matthew Jenner added: "The opening of C2 will make a huge difference especially for patients with haematological conditions such as leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma and sickle cell disease. The number of patients we have with these conditions increases year on year and having more inpatient beds will enable patients to be treated promptly, within specialist facilities and cared for by a skilled team of highly trained doctors and nurses."

The team is now raising extra funds to equip the rooms with electrical goods. Any donations towards that can be made through Southampton Hospitals Charity on the following web page, marking your donation as for the new C2 cancer care ward https://southamptonhospitalscharity.org/ways-to-donate/donate-today/single-donation/.

Posted on Thursday 17 December 2020