New unit opens at Bideford Hospital

A brand new community unit has opened at Bideford Community Hospital. The Willow Community Unit has been completely refurbished to offer the highest standards in modern patient accommodation. The new facility replaces the hospital s old George and Marg

A brand new community unit has opened at Bideford Community Hospital.

The Willow Community Unit has been completely refurbished to offer the highest standards in modern patient accommodation.

The new facility replaces the hospital's old George and Margaret Wards on the ground floor.

The new unit is at the centre of plans by Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, which manages the service, to create a vibrant 'health hub' for the Torridge community.


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The new resource offers a range of state-of-the art facilities, including:

* Nine side rooms and en-suite bathroom to enhance privacy and dignity for all patients

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* An education room enabling nurses to continually update their care skills

* Fresh, light and airy design

* Modern building materials allowing the highest cleanliness and infection control regimes to be observed

* Fully-accessible therapeutic garden

* Separate facilities for men and women, complying with the latest national standards.

And by consolidating two smaller wards into a single larger ward, an integrated nursing team now maximises the range of healthcare expertise available to individual patients.

Although the number of beds has decreased from 34 to 28, the combined team's breadth of specialist skills will allow patients to receive care and treatment more quickly.

Local GPs have been consulted and are supportive of the new arrangements, which enable more direct admissions and greater benefits for patients.

Sylvia Moore, Sister at Bideford Hospital, said: 'I can't believe what the builders have achieved in just 12 weeks. It's completely different.

"The increased space, bigger window area and courtyard garden give patients a greater choice of places to relax. And the side rooms are a real bonus.

"We do a lot of palliative care and the old side rooms were right next to the nurses' station - not great for patient privacy. Now palliative care patients can be more self-contained and have direct access to the garden. And by combining the two old wards into a single unit, we now have a larger team in place with an enhanced mix of skills. It all makes for much better patient care."

Cost of the Willow project was �559,000. A contribution of �144,000 was made by the Bideford Hospitall Charitable Funds and �5,000 came from the League of Friends for the therapeutic garden.

The project is part of a �23.5 million investment in services over the next 10 years by Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

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