£1 million expansion for better patient care
09 May 2018
Southend University Hospital has expanded its critical care facility to provide a high-dependency unit (HDU) for patients, increasing its ability to help more patients who need extra care.
Known as the Kitty Hubbard HDU, it will strengthen the service
the hospital provides for patients who have had major surgery or
who no longer need intensive care but still require specialist
monitoring and require a higher level of organ support, improving
the quality, safety and experience of care for both patients and
their loved ones.This brand new state-of-the-art £1 million
facility will care for both elective and emergency patients, and
will initially have four beds.
Blanca Boira Segarra, Clinical Director for Theatres, Critical
Care & Anaesthetics, said: "Until now we didn't have a
dedicated area for these patients and Kitty Hubbard HDU will
support patients from all specialities across the hospital who need
a higher level of care than can be provided on the speciality
wards, but who do not need intensive care. In HDU the patient and
nurse ratio is much higher than in a normal ward, there will be one
nurse looking after two patients.
"In addition, the HDU beds could prevent admission of
deteriorating patients to ITU by providing speedy intervention in a
high dependency environment. Prior to HDU opening these patients
would be cared for in wards across the Trust, now we will bring
patients together for specialist care rather than our staff and
equipment having to go to several different areas.
"The new unit will also help us stepping patients down from the
Intensive Care Unit before they go back to a normal ward. This will
have a positive impact on the capacity to admit intensive care
And this has been made a reality, in part, thanks to the
generosity of local people. £212k was donated by the hospital
associated charities who helped bring this fantastic lifeline to
patients into being. This money enabled the Trust to purchase
essential medical equipment to furnish the unit with
The Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation For Wards Appeal
contributed £60,000 towards the cost of equipping one HDU
bed. The majority of this money, £50,000, was raised from the
proceeds of the Southend Hospital Charity Shop in Hamlet Court
Road, Westcliff, which equates to a year and a half's trading
income. The remaining £152,000 came from donations and
legacies left to Southend Hospital Charity for the benefit of
critically ill patients.
Fred Heddell, Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee said: "We
are proud to support the opening of this fantastic new
facility. Our thanks go to the local community who supported
our appeal and for the generosity of legators, who have been kind
enough to remember us in their wills."
Mick Thwaites, Chairman of Southend Hospital Charitable
Foundation said: "This year marks the 20th Anniversary
of Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation and the launch of our
For Wards Appeal. This is just one of twenty areas of the
hospital we will be supporting over the next couple of years and I
know it will have a big impact on the care of critically ill
patients. I would like to thank the staff and volunteers of
our charity shop in Westcliff and for the tremendous support from
the local community."
Southend Hospital is now the Essex specialised urology cancer
surgery centre and these patients will also benefit from the HDU.
These patients undergo complex and very lengthy surgical procedures
and often have to be anaesthetised for many hours.
Their immediate post-operative period requires a higher level of
observation and monitoring that has to be provided in a HDU or ITU
area. Relatives and carers of patients in HDU and the intensive
care/therapy unit (ITU) will also be able to take advantage of
improved relatives' waiting rooms.
There are also improved facilities for staff in the Critical
Care Services team, including a new seminar room to support
training and development, as well as providing excellent
opportunities for medical and nursing staff who wish to further
their careers caring for high dependency patients.
This exciting new addition to the hospital has seen both medical
and nursing staff work very closely with the architect and project
team, delivering a fantastic environment to work in that provides
the very best for patients.
Paul Cavalier, Partner at property and construction consultancy
Ingleton Wood, who are based in Billericay, designed the new
He said: "As a local practice, we're immensely proud of our
long-standing relationship with the Southend Hospital and to have
been involved in such an important project from the very beginning.
Our core business revolves around providing the best healthcare and
public sector buildings and it is great to see the scheme and the
investment the hospital is making finally come to fruition so that
patients can access state of the art facilities and receive the
highest standard of specialist care."
The Kitty Hubbard HDU was officially opened with a plaque
unveiling by the hospital's Managing Director, Yvonne Blucher, with
an opening address given by Alan Tobias OBE, Southend Hospital's
Chairman. The new unit will be open to patients for the first time
at the end of May.