The newly renovated inpatient ward at Penrith Hospital opens to patients today (Monday 8 August) after a £1.2 million upgrade.
The ward has 23 beds all in a bright and welcoming environment with more space and privacy than before. On Friday 5 August, an open day event was held for stakeholders and colleagues to get a preview of the completed works and to officially open the unit. Jill Foster, executive chief nurse at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC), attended the event. Commenting on the renovation, she said:
“I am delighted that the works have been completed and it was great to get a preview on Friday. The new modern ward will offer an improved patient experience and will also benefit our staff working on the ward. I am particularly pleased that the unit now offers more privacy and dignity. I look forward to hearing feedback now the ward has re-opened.”
The plan to renovate and modernise the ward was a result of a public consultation back in 2016. The ward now has:
- Two four bed bays with an en-suite
- One three bed bay with an en-suite
- Three two bed bays with an en-suite
- Four cubicles all with en-suites
Ashley Macaulay, Ward Manager on the Eden Unit at Penrith Hospital, said moving back to the Eden Unit was like Christmas for her team. She said:
“The new unit has new beds and equipment and all the rooms have ensuite bathrooms. There is more space for us to be able to work around the beds too. It is a much more nursing friendly environment and functional. We are all very excited to be back working together. It means patients can be cared for closer to home and that’s what the people of Penrith and the Eden Valley really need.”
Salli Pilcher, Associate Director of Nursing at NCIC, said:
“The refurbishment has really transformed the Eden Unit. It’s bigger, spacious, light and very welcoming for patients, visitors and staff.”
Linda Mitchell, from Penrith Hospital’s League of Friends group, explained how they had helped. She said:
“The League of Friends helps to buy the extras that the hospital needs. We’ve recently bought some furniture and chairs for the new Eden Unit and we’ve done some planting. We try to raise funds for things that will benefit patients.
“The staff have worked very hard and it looks amazing.”
Jacqueline Nicol, Public Governor Eden said:
'What a super transformation! Apart from the light and airy wards there is a lovely dayroom plus a newly fitted kitchen for patients to be assessed to ensure sure they will be able to manage cooking etc. when they return home.
Linda Bell, who worked at Penrith Hospital for 45 years and is now involved in The League of Friends, said:
“It looks wonderful and will be so much better for staff and patients. It looks like a very patient centred environment and is much improved.”
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border also joined the group ahead of the reopening, he said:
"What a transformation! Congratulations to everyone involved in the monumental £1.2 million overhaul improving patient welfare and giving people quality care closer to home. The 23 community beds are an excellent resource for the people of Eden and the great work of our wonderful NHS staff will be much better supported with the improved care facilities. It was an honour to be able to cut the ribbon and I look forward to many years of use to come.
"Special thanks must also go to the Penrith Community Hospital League of Friends, who give up so much of their time doing everything from raising money for the hospital to keeping the bird and squirrel feeders topped up making patients' stays so much happier."