PATIENTS are receiving treatment in new operating theatres and a new critical care unit following multi-million pound improvements at Leighton Hospital.

Patients in intensive care or on the high dependency unit were transferred into the new facilities on March 31, and the first operations took place in the new theatres on April 28.

The £22.8 million project has seen the creation of 14 critical care bays and eight operating theatres, and replaces facilities in place when the hospital first opened in 1971.

The new building is adjacent to, and integrated with, the hospital’s existing treatment centre, which will shortly undergo major refurbishment to further support an increase in the quality and safety of patient care.

The project has been supported by Government funding of £21.69 million, and the new critical care unit has been welcomed by Dr Susan Gilby, associate medical director and clinical lead for the project.

“The old critical care facilities were beginning to show their age, and were starting to limit the advances and improvements we were able to make for the benefit of those patients who needed intensive treatment,” she said.

“With this move into the brand new unit you can already see the improvements coming through.

“We have gone from a dark, cramped area to a light, bright and airy environment with plenty of space, that benefits patients and staff.

“We’ve been able to include a number of features which not only look impressive but are proven to help lower patient anxiety and ultimately aid their recovery.”

In addition to the 12 regular critical care bed bays there are two isolation bays which help to further improve infection prevention and control.

Located along the corridor from the unit are the eight new, state-of-the-art operating theatres, each featuring touch screens which allow the surgeons and their staff to control every aspect of the operating environment from one interactive monitor.

“With all of the advances we’ve been able to include in our new theatres we will be able to treat more patients and provide them with a better experience before, during and after surgery,” said Dr Gilby.

The new building also contains a dedicated paediatric recovery area for children who have just undergone surgery.

“I am immensely proud of the new facilities,” said Tracy Bullock, chief executive of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“Not only do our patients now have fantastic, state-of-the-art treatment options on their doorstep, but also the security of knowing they will be fit for purpose and available for many years to come.

“I’m not alone in my belief that these new facilities are amongst the best in the country.”