New £4.5m ward opening to patients

3 Aug 2022, 12:01 a.m.

Patients at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH) are today (Wednesday 3 August) benefitting from a new state-of-the-art 24-bedded ward costing £4.5m.

The new facilities at Gallery Ward 2, opposite the Tower Block, are part of a wider £100m-plus cash injection to deliver centres of excellence across both Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals, and will deliver care for the elderly including those with dementia and who are acutely frail.

The new ward boasts four four-bedded bays, eight side rooms, dedicated ensuites, a new lift as well as a new staff room, pantry for cooking and cleaning and dedicated storage. The ward is also kitted out with new furniture, bedside USB ports for electronic devices and the latest technology to monitor patients. While there have been no additional beds created as part of the works the beds that are there are a much higher standard.

The development, completed by contractors Kier, is part of much wider building works improvement programme which started last year (2021) and has already seen a new £6.5m radiology department re-open at Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and a new £1m Medical Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit open at GRH. The Medical SDEC unit enables more patients to be seen and treated on the same day helping to avoid hospital admissions and avoiding the need for treatment at the Emergency Department (ED) altogether.

This is a very exciting milestone for the team and the Trust more broadly as we provide the next generation of care in line with our vision for two centres of excellence.

Professor Mark Pietroni, Medical Director and Interim Chief Executive,
Dr Sangeeta Kulkarni, Consultant Geriatrician, Karen Anthony, Ward Manager, Jerome Ibarra, Matron and Rhianna Dobson-Love, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist
Jerome Ibarra, Matron, Karen Anthony, Ward Manager & Rhianna Dobson-Love, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist
One of the new four-bedded bays
Gallery Ward

He continues, "We all have a loved one, or know of someone who’s elderly, and as more and more of us live longer, and with more complex long-term conditions, so this ward provides the very best facilities and specialist care to ensure that anyone staying here is as comfortable as possible while giving our patients the best opportunity to live as independently as possible.”

There has been a great deal of care and thought gone into how the ward has been built so that it best suits the needs of our patients.

Dr Sangeeta Kulkarni, Consultant Geriatrician

Dr Sangeeta Kulkarni, Consultant Geriatrician, said, "For example, each bay has been colour coded when painted meaning it’s dementia friendly. Therefore patients who may walk away from their beds can navigate back much more easily. The floors are matt vinyl because shiny floors or floors with speckles in them are known to confuse and disorientate dementia patients. Even the number of beds on the ward was deliberately configured with infection, prevention and control in mind meaning that there’s more space in between beds, and it’s easy to temporarily close a bay should there be an infection rather than a ward."

It is great to see the investment into this patient group and the team are feeling inspired and motivated to be able to provide assessment and intervention in a modern and purpose-built environment.

Rhianna Dobson-Love, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist

Rhianna continues, "We come to work to do our best for our patients and these facilities will play a big part in helping us achieve that. It means we’ll be better able to support effective patient discharge into the community.”

Dr Kulkarni adds: “We have a very ambitious vision to develop our services further by modernising the ground floor as well as floor one of Gallery Wing to give us a dedicated centre of excellence for care of the elderly here at the GRH. This would be a dedicated centre providing the most specialist of care to some of the most vulnerable and poorly patients in our community.”