SUNDERLAND Royal Hospital’s new £28million critical care unit has been given the thumbs-up as it opens today.
During the past few days, former patients of the hospital were treated to an exclusive tour of the 18-bed hi-tech facility which is now fully operational.
The Integrated Critical Care United (ICCI) has been created following research into best practise from China, the United States and Germany.
More than 1,000 patients a year are expected to benefit from the unit.
Critical care co-ordinator Dave McNicholas said that everything patients need will be at their bedside.
He added that the new purpose-built wards will help to improve the privacy and dignity of each individual patients.
More importantly, the rooms are suitable for those who have a high risk of infection.
“They will have their own TVs in each room and they are all equipped for dialysis treatment,” said Mr McNicholas.
Patients and their relatives of Sunderland Royal’s old critical care unit were given a guided tour of the ward.
Margaret McKenzie’s daughter Tracy died aged 41 after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Tracy was treated in Sunderland Royal before her death and her mum praised staff for their dedication.
Margaret, 67, and husband Peter then threw themselves into a fund-raising drive for worthy causes, of which some money has gone towards providing equipment for the new unit.
Mr McKenzie died last year after suffering from cancer of the oesophagus, aged 66.
His widow yesterday handed over a cheque to staff at the hospital.
“We have raised over £100,000 over the years,” added Mrs McKenzie, of Warden Law, Houghton.
“This new ward is absolutely amazing.
“It’s nice to put Sunderland back on the map and it’s got everything you could possibly want for anyone that’s poorly.”