Published on: 1 February 2023

A new £3 million Intensive Care Unit is now treating patients at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

The unit is the latest investment into services at South Tyneside District Hospital. It is providing state-of-the-art care for critically ill patients. It also aligns with the facilities that are available at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Construction work on the unit began in 2022. There are six individual room to care for patients. Each room features smart glass that can be turned opaque at the switch of a button to provide privacy and dignity to patients and their families. The glass can also be made clear to help staff carry out observations.

The rooms also allow staff more space to work and allow for the modern equipment needed to treat those in need of the highest level of care.

stdh icu (3).JPG

Members of the ICU and Trust estates teams alongside Tolent's representatives, as work was ongoing to complete the unit.

A reception area and quiet rooms have also been set up. Staff now have much better facilities, with a seminar room, changing spaces and break room set up.

The unit has its own entrance at the rear of the hospital. This allows families to access the ward directly and supports the transfer of patients via ambulance.

The unit mirrors the set-up of the Integrated Critical Care Unit (ICCU) at Sunderland Royal Hospital, which makes it much easier for staff who work across both sites.

Pete Hersey, Consultant in Critical Care Medicine and Anaesthesia, is Clinical Co-director of Critical Care for the Trust and said the team was delighted to move into the new space.

He said:

"This new Intensive Care Unit in South Tyneside District Hospital now provides some of the best facilities in the world to care for some of our sickest patients.

"We have spacious single rooms that offer privacy and a much better experience for families spending time with their loved ones.

"The equipment within the unit is also all brand new and of a really high specification

"We have rest facilities for staff and areas for education and training and that will make a real difference to our team in the years ahead.

"We are proud to say that with this new facility, we have created the best environment to allow the best care for the population of South Tyneside and Sunderland."

Steve Church, regional manager at Tolent, said:

"This project has been a great success for all those involved, creating an environment where this critical care can be performed to the highest standard, done through providing quality facilities for both staff and patients. 

"Over the last two years, Tolent has been part of the solution that is bringing about positive change to NHS services in the region working across various hospital trusts to improve ward and care areas, totalling over £15m.

"We look forward to working with the team at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust soon."

Derek Shepherd, is Director at P+HS Architects, who worked alongside the Trust to design the unit.

He said:

"We are delighted to see the completion of the new ICU department. 

"Continuing our hugely successful relationship with the Trust, this recent project has transformed into a modern state-of-the-art ICU.

"Providing an excellent environment which will support the staff and the fantastic care they provide certainly makes the two-year design and construction period worth every effort the team has put in."

As the new unit is launched, work is continuing on the £10 million Integrated Diagnostic Centre in the grounds of the hospital. As the new unit is launched, work is continuing on the £10 million Integrated Diagnostic Centre in the grounds of the hospital. 

This will be kitted out with the latest scanning technology and is due to open in the coming weeks.

The Trust has also unveiled a number of other new investments in its South Tyneside site.

This included a new £2 million endoscopy unit, a £800,000 inpatient pharmacy and a £200,000 refit of its Emergency Department’s resuscitation area.