New High Dependency Unit opens


The New ‘Fast Track’ Post-Surgical High Dependency Unit (HDU) at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital opened on Tuesday 13 January.

This new facility will provide additional postsurgical care for elective and emergency surgical patients, and will have four beds open initially. Staff were able to look around the unit on the day it opened. 

The Unit will treat around 40-50 of the most high risk peri-operative patients per month. Patients will bereceiving gold standard peri-operative high dependency care, which has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality. They will usually spend a night on the HDU before being returned to their ward.

The new HDU has been built in the Department of Critical Care in the space occupied by the previous ITU on level one of the tower block.

One former patient who was present at the opening was Julie Bignone. In April 2008 Julie, at the time a 32 year old mother of a 20 month old little boy, developed severe Pneumococcal Pneumonia. By the time she was admitted to GRH ICU department she also had highly advanced sepsis. During the four weeks she remained sedated and ventilated in ITU in Gloucester she was put on an oscillating ventilator, given a rotating bed, fitted with two chest drains and a novalung filter, suffered a pleural effusion (hole in the lung) and a large internal bleed. Now she is a healthy, working mother of 2 children and lives in Oxfordshire with her family. Julie went on to join the patients and relatives committee of the Intensive Care Society.