Construction starts on Lister’s new £18.6 million ward block

The Trust’s contractors – Integrated Health Projects – have started work on creating the Lister’s new £18.6 million 62-bed ward block that is being created at the front of the hospital’s £19 million emergency department extension that is already taking shape.

The new services being created at the Lister, which also include a £20.5 million new operating theatres and endoscopy block extension to the rear of the hospital, will be ready for patients to use by the end of 2014. Between them, they represent the final major outstanding elements that will complete the Lister’s £150 million transformation in to the main inpatient and emergency service for the people of east, south and north Hertfordshire, as well as parts of Bedfordshire.

Commenting on the news, the Trust’s chief executive, Nick Carver, said: “It’s not only great to see builders starting to dig the foundations for our new ward block, but it’s right next to the new emergency department extension at the Lister that has been taking shape so quickly. Between them, these two new developments represent nearly £40 million of investment in new services at the hospital, which are at the heart of its transformation in to the main acute hospital for our parts of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

“We know from the very successful changes made already to the Trust’s maternity  and emergency surgery services that it is possible to redesign clinical services in ways that provide our patients with better care and improved experience, whilst costing less money to run. For example our new maternity unit is already proving very popular with new mothers and staff alike, yet saves £1 million a year in running costs alone.”

The new ward block at the Lister will have the following services:

  • Provides an acute assessment unit on the ground floor with 24 beds and 14
    specialist trolleys that will be used by staff to manage acutely unwell patients
    referred by GPs, as well as those transferred from the Lister’s new emergency
  • The unit’s first floor, which will have 38 beds, provides a new coronary care unit
    with facilities for recovering cardiology patients along with acutely unwell patients
    who may have previously been managed in the high dependency part of the
    Lister’s critical care unit;
  • Over 50% of the beds in the block will be in single ensuite rooms;

The new unit is also adjacent to the recently enlarged Hertfordshire Cardiac Centre, which houses the Trust’s two catheterisation laboratories, and the new emergency department being created currently. This makes the ward block ideally placed to manage the increased number of acutely unwell patients that will be treated at the Lister as remaining inpatient and emergency services transfer up from the QEII hospital in Welwyn Garden City by the end of next year.

The ward block is one of 11 projects that form part of the Trust’s overall £75 million phase four redevelopment of the Lister. Each is on track to be completed by at least the end of 2014, which is when the Lister will become the main centre for inpatient and emergency services for all of east and north Hertfordshire, as well as parts of Bedfordshire. At the same time NHS Hertfordshire will be creating the New QEII Hospital, which will provide a wide range of outpatient, diagnostic and ante/post natal services, as well as 24/7 Local A&E.

Other major projects that comprise the Lister’s phase four redevelopment include:

  •  £20.5 million theatres and endoscopy block – construction due to start March 2013 and be completed by the end of 2014;
  • £19.5 million emergency department – construction under way and due for
    completion by the end of 2014;
  • £2.1 million critical care unit expansion (completed November 2012)
  • £2.2 million refurbishment of ward 11A (completed October 2011)
  • £0.9 million ward 7A refurbishment (completed December 2012)