HINCHINGBROOKE Hospital s two-year £4.5million ward refurbishment programme is now complete, providing a brighter, cleaner and more comfortable environment for patients. The project has also been designed to prevent and reduce the spread of infection, wit

HINCHINGBROOKE Hospital's two-year £4.5million ward refurbishment programme is now complete, providing a brighter, cleaner and more comfortable environment for patients.

The project has also been designed to prevent and reduce the spread of infection, with wards able to be sealed off and a special isolation ward introduced.

The seven medical and surgical wards at the front of the hospital, with their open bays of six patients, shared bathroom facilities and a small number of single rooms were transformed, one by one.

The new wards have bays of five patients, each with its own en suite facility, meaning patients no longer have to leave their bay and enter the wider ward to use the bathroom.

"The privacy and dignity of patients is improved further by the innovative hands-free sliding glass doors, effectively sealing off bays and making the patient environment quieter and more private," a spokesman said.

"Each ward now has more single rooms, allowing for the effective isolation of patients, if required. A dedicated isolation ward has also been developed at the trust, incorporating single rooms with en suite facilities to ensure that patients with infections can be cared for away from the main wards."

Ward staff have also benefited from the refurbishment project, enjoying larger nursing stations with more computer terminals and work areas. Hand-washing facilities have been placed throughout the wards to help staff maintain infection-control measures.

The ward refurbishment project was expanded in 2008 to include the maternity ward, Lilac, to bring it up to the standards of the new wards, the hospital added.

"Now the ward refurbishment programme is complete, the trust's eyes move on to the next set of projects to improve the environment for patients and employees," the hospital said this week.