01 May 2020
Step-down unit created at new Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Laing O’Rourke has handed over a new state-of-the-art
‘step-down’ unit which will help patients recover from Covid-19 and other
conditions in part of the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Liverpool
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our construction partners and
suppliers have worked quickly to create this fantastic facility, but equally our
staff have demonstrated their ingenuity and innovation to plan the way in which
they’ll give our patients the best possible care.
"It’s an amazing achievement
to have created this unit in such a short time, and we’re very grateful to
The unit, consisting totally of single-bedded
rooms, is a major boost to the city’s health and social care response to
Covid-19, and will also be the first clinical activity to be provided in the
new Royal building.
Therapy, nursing and medical staff will help
patients, most of whom will be older people, recover their independence by
building up their mobility and their ability to undertake routine daily tasks
before they are safely discharged.
The unit has been created in what will become
the Acute Medical Unit for the new Royal.
Due to open in the week commencing Monday, 4
May, the unit will be able to care for up to 65 patients, with plans for 25
patients to be transferred initially during the first week.
Steve Warburton added: “Our new step-down unit
is an excellent additional resource to help our city give patients the best
possible recovery and discharge.
“As part of our early pandemic planning, we
considered the potential to make part of the Acute Medical Unit in the new
Royal into an operational area.
At that stage, we had to consider situations
including overwhelming numbers of patients needing admission to our main
“Thankfully, the vast majority of the region’s
residents have stayed at home and supported social distancing, so we have
flattened the curve of cases.
Our incredible staff have had to work very hard,
under great pressure, to care for many very sick patients, but we have never
had to use our full capacity.
“That’s why we will now be able to use this
unit to support patients in their recovery in single rooms, with benefits for
them including greater peace and quiet."
Paul McNerney, Director
of UK Building at Laing O’Rourke said: “We are proud that our people have
played a part in supporting the NHS’ response plan for Covid-19 by creating
this unit within the new Royal.
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“I’d like to thank the
project team, our suppliers and partners who have worked incredibly hard over
recent weeks, completely changing the way they work to ensure safe distancing
on site whilst delivering increased healthcare capacity at this critical time
for our extraordinary NHS healthcare workers in Liverpool.
“Working alongside a
live hospital you cannot fail to see and be moved by the commitment of all
those working in and with the NHS and it is to them that we give our most
Steve Warburton explained: “This is certainly
not a case of the whole new Royal opening early, but we do have the ability to
expand the unit further if needed in the immediate future. We have a very
flexible resource for our patients going forward, especially as we start to
look at the resumption of services which we had to significantly reduce or stop
in order to focus our efforts on caring for patients with Covid-19.
“At the same time, we have planned this so that
we can safely continue with the construction of the new Royal, while still
providing immediate benefits for our patients.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe
Anderson praised all involved by saying: “We have a really strong partnership
among our health partners across the city which is really helping us deal with
the challenge of coronavirus.
“I would like to take
this opportunity to pay tribute to the teams who have worked really hard to put
this new facility together, and to the staff who will be caring for people when
it is open. This is one of a range of measures being put in place to ease the
pressure on our hospitals and look after people in safety and comfort until
they are fit and well and free of infection.”