New look for Ladywell Unit

Joseph Bulmer

Healthcare Trust announces massive �1m overhaul of children and women’s services at North Devon District Hospital

FAMILIES across North Devon are set to benefit from a major refurbishment of the Ladywell Unit at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.

The �1m project will create a modern centre for women and children’s services which currently treat around 3,000 children every year.

The development brings together services for women and children and will create a new unit housing maternity, paediatric and gynaecology care under one roof.

Kate Lyons, director of operations, said: “This is a really exciting development. We strive to provide the highest quality care and are looking forward to opening the doors on a revamped, modernised unit that will bring many benefits to staff, patients and their families.”

The new Ladywell Unit will see the creation of a new Caroline Thorpe children’s ward to be co-located with a brand new Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) with modern facilities and accommodation for families.

A new day case and procedure unit for gynaecology patients will allow for the development of new procedures and the treatment of more day patients.

The recently refurbished Bassett and labour wards will remain in the unit, where 1,600 babies are born each year.

In time, the outpatient areas of the Ladywell Unit will be updated to include the provision of more child and family-friendly facilities.

The plans have been led and developed by hospital staff and incorporate patient and commissioner feedback, as well as consultation with patients and carers through the Trust’s Involving People Steering Group and the Care for Kids Charity.

The Trust said that bringing together similar patients and services currently in different parts of the hospital site, would allow staff to share skills and best practice.

“We know from our patient feedback that while the care is rated highly, the experience of those using the facilities of the Ladywell Unit could be improved,” said Kate Lyons.

“There is a trend towards more gynaecology surgery being performed as ‘day case’ and the new unit will allow us to see more women in a modern, updated environment.

“This investment will create a far superior bright, modern environment with much enhanced family-friendly facilities.”

Building work is due start imminently and will last approximately 12-18 months. The Trust said it would be keeping people informed of the progress but stressed that services would run as normal throughout.