The new unit puts patient care and experience front and centre, and has been shaped and developed taking into consideration the thoughts and feedback of those patients and families who had previously been in the hospital in the previous HDU and ITU wards.
Speaking about the focus group which was specifically set up to help co-design the new Critical Care Unit, Nicky Williams, Critical Care Physiotherapy Practitioner at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said the feedback was invaluable.
“Many of the patients were quite happy to share their experiences and really wanted to give their input,” Nicky said, whose role in facilitating follow-up clinics for complex patients make her an ideal candidate for staying in touch with patients and their families.
“As NHS colleagues we can sometimes assume we know when actually we don’t, we are not the ones living these experiences in critical care. I think that’s where the patient input has been really invaluable.”
The clearest example of how patient feedback has changed the face of critical care has been the dedicated single-patient rooms, designed to give privacy, comfort, and dignity to all patients on the new unit.
“I think a lot of the design of the new unit, specifically the single side rooms was as a result of what the patients told us. Patients have told us in these focus groups that seeing other patients can often be quite distressing.
“HDU and ITU was open plan, and it could be quite a noisy environment, with new admissions, alarms and equipment.
“We know that a patient’s environment has a significant impact on them and their recovery and by giving them this extra level of privacy and dignity it is fundamental to how we want to care for our patients and give them the very best experience.”