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Gloucestershire Business News

Stroud Hospital to undergo major refurbishment

Stroud General Hospital is to undergo a £2m refurbishment aimed at bringing the oldest parts of the Victorian building up to the standards required for 21st century healthcare.

Jubilee Ward and the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit (MIIU) - which are both located in part of the original hospital - are set to be completely redesigned and refitted in a four-month project due to start on Monday 23 August.

Patients on the 16-bed ward will be accommodated on a temporary ward which is being set up at Cirencester Hospital. The MIIU service will be available for patients who have booked an appointment using clinic rooms in the Maternity building opposite the hospital. Bookings can be made directly (numbers are on our website) or through NHS 111.

Unbooked visits to MIIU will not be available in Stroud during the refurbishment, so potential visitors will need to be aware to use alternative services such as NHS 111, pharmacies or the MIIUs at Cirencester Hospital or Vale Hospital in Dursley.

Angela Potter, director of strategy and partnerships at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (GHC), said: "We're delighted to announce this important piece of work to modernise a large area of Stroud Hospital, which will ensure it will remain a key resource for healthcare for years to come.

"As always we are indebted to Stroud Hospitals League of Friends for their support of this project and for a substantial contribution towards the overall cost."

The Memorial Stone for Stroud Hospital was laid in 1874 and the hospital was formally opened in December 1875 and extended in 1890.

There has been ongoing investment to the hospital - including a major refurbishment of Cashes Green Ward in 2018 and the prior £5m development of Bowbridge Outpatients Unit and MIIU back in 2000 - alongside incremental upgrades to facilities such as an endoscopy refit, theatre extension and piped oxygen for some parts of the building.

However, the part of the hospital which includes Jubilee Ward and the MIIU has not seen substantial modernisation. The last significant improvement was the addition of shower rooms on the ward in 2012.

In its current layout, the MIIU treatment rooms are assessment bays which are too small to offer all-round access to trolleys in them, offer little privacy if multiple bays are in use, and make it difficult to isolate infectious patients. Staff in the reception area cannot see the patient waiting area, patient bathrooms or children's waiting area. The waiting area itself is part of the main thoroughfare through the hospital, with no windows, ventilation or natural light. There are no staff rest areas and very little office space.

On Jubilee Ward, the 16 beds are configured in a 6-bed bay, two 4-bed bays and two single rooms. Each bay has a single toilet, no shower and a single sink. It is challenging to isolate infectious patients from other patients in the bay. The single rooms are small with narrow doorways. Like MIIU on the floor below, poor ventilation means the ward becomes very hot, and again space for staff is a cramped office with no windows, natural light or ventilation.

The rebuild will change the room layouts in order to:

Create larger MIIU consulting and treatment rooms, separated assessment bays, including one for isolation, a new MIIU children's waiting and treatment area, new MIIU reception area and add air handling and temperature control to the unit as well as piped medical gases to the beds.

Remodel Jubilee Ward bays with improved bed separation, toilet and shower facilities, create two larger single rooms with en-suite facilities, add a ward office and move the reminiscence room onto the ward, replace windows and add air handling and temperature control, and add piped medical gases to the beds.

Roma Walker, chair of the Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, said: "We are delighted to be contributing to work which will transform key areas of the hospital for both patients and staff.

"These are exciting and timely plans and we look forward to welcoming patients and visitors to the new-look ward and Minor Injuries unit in a few months."

Stroud MIIU is expected to reopen in late December 2021 and Jubilee Ward in January 2022.

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