Single sex wards for Bideford Hospital

WORK started this week on a �300,000 redevelopment of Bideford Hospital. With a national requirement for all in-patient accommodation to be single sex by the end of June and grant aid being made available, the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is using the

WORK started this week on a �300,000 redevelopment of Bideford Hospital.With a national requirement for all in-patient accommodation to be single sex by the end of June and grant aid being made available, the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is using the opportunity to also bring forward future development projects so the work can be carried out together in one 12-week building programme.Admissions have been curtailed in preparation for wards being shut down over the past two weeks. Four patients have been transferred to other hospitals in Holsworthy and South Molton and the remainder have been discharged.Currently, the hospital has three small in-patient wards providing 46 beds. Elizabeth Ward is a stroke rehabilitation ward, George Ward is a consultant-led care of the elderly ward and Margaret Ward is a GP-led wardIn the new plans, Elizabeth Ward will become a specialist stroke ward on the first floor and will have rehabilitation facilities as well as beds, all laid out in accordance with the single-sex criteria. The stroke ward will have strong links with the Acute Stroke Unit at North Devon District Hospital and patients will be discharged from NDDH to Bideford to receive specialist rehabilitation.Margaret and George Wards will be merged into a single ward on the ground floor for care of the elderly and GP patients. The ward will be divided into male and female bays and single rooms, again each with their own bathroom and toilet facilities. It is understood the changes could result in the loss of a few beds. Jac Kelly, trust chief executive, said: "The trust is really pleased to be investing in the facilities at Bideford. The single-sex initiative has allowed us to bring forward several projects into one and deal with a number of issues at the same time. "The benefits to patients will be enormous as some of the existing facilities are out-dated or are no longer suitable for the type of healthcare we now provide. "I know the staff at Bideford are delighted with the plans, because they can immediately see the benefits the new layout and working practices will bring to the patients. We appreciate that there will be a period of disruption as patients are transferred to hospitals which might not be their local one, but our staff in all the community hospitals are working with patients and their families to minimise any problems.


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