New Intensive Care Unit opens at William Harvey Hospital

New intensive care beds open at William Harvey Hospital 

Published: 27 October 2020

Clinicians this week opened an additional eight-bed Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) as part of preparations for winter and rising coronavirus cases.

The unit, at the William Harvey Hospital, features state-of-the-art technology including a brand new echocardiography machine to help improve treatment for patients who suffer cardiac arrest.

It was officially opened on Tuesday by East Kent Hospitals chief executive Susan Acott, Dr Mark Snazelle, the Trust’s lead doctor for critical care, and Jane Kirk-Smith, the hospital’s critical care matron, before opening to patients later this week. 

Susan said: “This new unit is a fantastic development for our patients and staff.

“It gives us additional, dedicated intensive care unit to care for the most critically ill people, in a high-tech and modern clinical environment.

“Our staff have worked wonders over the past seven months in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as we had to swiftly reorganise services and increase our intensive care capacity by taking over other areas of the hospital.

“This new unit gives us extra intensive care beds which will prove hugely valuable as we go into winter and beyond.”

The new unit increases the hospital’s total number of intensive care beds to 24, up from 16 prior to the pandemic.  

Mark said: “We have an excellent critical care team, and this new facility ensures we have the environment and equipment to match.

“The launch of our echocardiography service cements our reputation as a regional centre for intensive care training and research.

“We will be training colleagues to the gold standard which means a better service for our patients, with improved diagnosis and treatment plans.”

Dr Prashant Parulekar, intensive care and acute medical consultant, is leading the new critical care echo service and led the bid for the new echocardiography machine, which was funded by a £150,000 grant from East Kent Hospitals Charity.

It gives medics high-definition pictures and videos of the heart and an analysis of heart function and will be operated at patients’ bedsides by the intensive care consultants.

We have an excellent critical care team, and this new facility ensures we have the environment and equipment to match.
Dr Mark Snazelle, Critical Care Consultant Clinical Lead