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Newly refurbished areas help JR prepare for winter

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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has officially opened three newly refurbished areas thanks to £3.2 million of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, given to upgrade wards and Emergency Departments and provide new beds.

In September 2018, the Government announced that the NHS was to receive £145m in emergency funding to help it cope with the pressures of winter.

On Friday 6 December 2018, Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals, officially opened the new Assessment Area in the Emergency Department and the newly refurbished Complex Medicine Unit (CMU) Ward A on Level 7 - both in the John Radcliffe Hospital.

On Monday 10 December, the newly refurbished Operational Centre in the John Radcliffe Hospital was reopened and the Winter Team moved in to join the OUH's operational managers.

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive, said: "I was delighted to join staff who worked on the projects and those who are now working in these new spaces. I would like to congratulate our Estates teams who worked to deliver these projects very quickly in time for winter. They are huge improvements on what was there before and will be better spaces for patients and staff."

The new Assessment Area in the Emergency Department is part of a project to improve the patient environment in the Emergency Department. The new Assessment Area means that patients will be seen earlier (within the first half hour of arrival) by senior clinicians to determine what diagnostic tests or treatment they may need. It is anticipated that the new area will help reduce the time to first treatment for more seriously ill patients. Adult patients who may have serious illnesses or injuries will be directed to this area to be assessed before being taken for further tests, moved to a ward area or theatre, or discharged. This area was previously used as office space.

Katy Mimpress, Matron of the Emergency Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said: "We are all so pleased to have this new area. The space is a huge improvement for our patients and for our staff to work in, and importantly, it will help make us more efficient and should mean that our patients are seen more quickly."

Also on Friday 6 December, Dr Bruno Holthof officially opened the newly refurbished Complex Medicine Unit Ward A on Level 7 (Ward B should be finished soon). Oxford Hospitals Charity gave £110,000 towards the improvements to make the whole area more dementia-friendly with specialist painting schemes (colour contrasts in doorways and on handrails help dementia patients) and artwork that helps patients orientate themselves better, as well as the reconfiguration of the nurse bases on each ward.

Dr Douglas Graham, Chief Executive of Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: "The Trustees of Oxford Hospitals Charity have been very keen to support the wellbeing of older patients looked after across our hospitals, particularly those with dementia. So we are delighted to support this vital work by funding £110,000 towards the specialist painting schemes and artwork that helps patients orientate themselves better, as well as the reconfiguration of the nurses bases on each ward, and the refurbishment of the staff room. We know this will have a real impact on both patients and staff in these important clinical areas."

Other improvements include a handrail in the corridor to assist frail patients, artwork for each bed space to help patients find their own bed, new flooring, lighting, wall protection and ceilings throughout.

Reema D'Souza, Matron for Acute General Medicine and Complex Medicine Unit said: "The ward has been transformed thanks to this funding. It is more open, lighter and a far better place to nurse our patients and to work in. Our nursing stations are much closer to patients now, allowing us to spend more time with patients and respond more quickly to their needs. We are also really delighted with the dementia friendly elements of the decoration which mean that it is easier for our patients to find their way around."

Finally, on Monday 10 December, Sara Randall, Acting Director of Clinical Services opened the new Operational Planning Centre. This space has been fully modernised and expanded with new equipment including screens on the walls to help the Trust's operational team to plan services across the Trust's four hospitals and to work closely with the Winter Team who will now be based here to plan care across the health and social care system.

Pictured: new Assessment Area in the Emergency Department. From left, Katy Mimpress, Matron of the Emergency Department; Timothy Richards, Project Manager; Chris Brooke, Acting Clinical Operations Manager South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS); Siobhan Monk, Operational Services Manager; Kathleen Simcock, General Manager; Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive; Charmaine Hope (partially obscured), Head of Capital and Architectural Practice; Stefan Caraba, Contracts Manager; Craig Merrifield, Senior Projects Manager; Louise Rawlinson, Acting Divisional Head of Nursing and Governance