King’s College Hospital in south London is in the process of building a state-of-the-art 60-bed Critical Care Centre which, when added to the existing Critical Care wards at the Trust, will be the largest and most progressive of its kind in the UK.
The new £100m unit will open in two stages: the first in summer 2018 and the second in early 2020, and will bring the total number of critical care beds at the Trust to over 120.
Feedback from patients who have been treated in critical care has been incorporated into the new centre. The innovative design will not only comprise the latest technology over two floors but will also focus on space and light. The building will have floor to ceiling windows overlooking Ruskin Park. Patients will have control of their environment, allowing them to move the position of their bed to face the window or turn inwards to be with family and friends.
Each bed space will be separated by glass partitions with internal blinds for privacy, while computer screens and monitoring equipment will be suspended from the ceiling and mobile, reducing clutter and helping visitors to get closer to patients. Powerful computers will have a vital clinical role will improve our patients environment with their music, pictures and films. They will also enable patients to see family and friends and interact with them even if their loved ones are unable to visit in person.
The hospital is currently fundraising to create a unique roof garden to help critically unwell patients who suffer common side-effects, such as delirium. The King’s College Hospital Charity has already pledged £1m to the appeal leaving £1.6m still to be raised. The garden will be fully equipped to enable patients – even those on life support – to be taken outside for fresh air to enhance the recovery process.
Dr Tom Best, Consultant in Critical Care at King’s, said “Some of our most unwell patients spend weeks or even months in critical care while they recover from life-threatening conditions. We know from feedback that a significant number of patients suffer from delirium as they drift in and out of consciousness, which can be very frightening and can delay recovery.
“During these prolonged hospital stays it’s vital that we care for the mind as well as the body. The new centre will use art and furnishings to create a more calming, less apparently clinical and frightening environment while still offering the latest advances in technology. This will enable staff to treat the patients with the very best equipment, and help patients stay in touch with the outside world to aid their recovery.”
As a Major Trauma Centre caring for some of the most critically unwell patients in London, King’s has five existing critical care wards at the hospital. This includes a paediatric intensive care unit, a specialist liver intensive care ward and three general adult critical care wards, which care for patients with an array of conditions including brain injuries, strokes, cardiac arrests and trauma injuries.
King’s College Hospital provides critical care for over 5,000 people who urgently require lifesaving medical treatment. Last year, the hospital received patients from the Westminster Bridge attack, the London Bridge and Borough Market attack, and the Grenfell Tower fire. From these incidents, King’s cared for 32 patients; 15 of whom were looked after in critical care.
Dr Best added, “As last year’s major incidents demonstrated, there’s a real need to provide the highest level of emergency and ongoing intensive care to give patients the very best chance of survival. At King’s, we’re very proud that our critical care service is consistently at the top in terms of survival, and our new centre will allow us to extend our expertise to even more people in London and beyond.”
For further information on the roof garden fundraising appeal, or to make a donation, visit http://www.supportkings.org.uk/get-involved/kings-critical-care-appeal/