CHILDREN services at the Countess of Chester Hospital have been revitalised thanks to the completion of a £2m project.
The Paediatrics Unit has received a complete overhaul, making state-of-the-art facilities and revolutionary services available to children and their families in West Cheshire.
As Manchester Children’s Hospital prepares to open the doors to a rival unit, the Countess is hoping to change the way children view hospital visits by making the unit more accessible and welcoming.
Director of communications Steve Winterson said: “We want to remind people that such fantastic facilities really are available on your doorstep.
“We want to move away from a building that feels and looks like a hospital and people visiting the new unit will hopefully see that we have achieved that.
“If your child has not been poorly then you would never know that this work had been done so we want to remind everyone in and around Chester that their child can receive fantastic care and services in their own backyard.”
The building’s interior has been completely transformed by Read Construction Holdings Ltd after £2m of a wider £10m ward-improvement scheme was used on the paediatrics unit.
The refurbishment includes three phases which have now been finished: The paediatric ward and emergency room, the day case area with sensory room, and the outpatients area.
A new adolescent unit, in two sections for each gender, has also been added complete with a relaxing room equipped with DVD player, Hi-Fi, bean bags, computer with internet, television and an outdoor area.
The reception is bigger and brighter than before, fitted with plastic toys and colourful child- friendly soft colourful chairs.
The corridors are much wider and the number of side rooms have been increased to give patients improved privacy and dignity. Security has also been improved with video recognition entry cameras installed on the entrances.
Full-time play specialists are also on hand to help children who have been admitted and are either awaiting or recovering from treatment.
Women and Children’s Services manager Jackie Blundell said: “The Children’s Unit has been redesigned to improve the layout and as it now incorporates the Paediatric outpatients department, it has become a fully integrated unit.
“All bathrooms, ward areas and working areas have been totally refurbished to a high standard including new windows and better ventilation.”
One of the key goals for the project was to create a department that met the highest standards of infection control.
New equipment, glass-incased blinds, sloped dust-free surfaces and wipe-clean materials are just some of the upgrades made to the unit to reduce any risk of infection.
“The ideas are simple and small but they make all the difference in fighting the threat of infection,” added Mr Winterson.
“The staff are delighted with the changes as they have made their working lives far easier.
“It all contributes to much improved levels of care.”
Feedback from families using the new unit has been positive.
Ten-month-old Damien Dziadkowski is already benefiting from the facilities on offer and mum Viola, from Chester, has been impressed.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic service. All the staff know Damien’s name. We can leave him here if we need to and we know he will be safe.”