Sunday, 14 August 2022

Finally, hospital care unit staff appointed

THE long-awaited rapid access care unit at the new Townlands Memorial Hospital is finally fully staffed.

Health chiefs confirmed this week that a full-time associate specialist has been appointed together with all the nurses.

The new consultant will start next month, replacing a locum who has been working two days a week since the start of this month.

The unit, which is designed to replace 14 “lost” beds, will open in January, 10 months after the rest of the £10 million hospital was opened to patients.

Clinical lead Kirsty Blee said: “I welcome this new appointment and look forward to working closely with this new person.

“This will be an excellent service for Henley and my team are very enthusiastic to start delivering this new type of care as soon as the facility is ready.”

The new unit will offer services such as antibiotic treatment and transfusions and will operate alongside a minor injuries unit, podiatry, outpatient services, physiotherapy and out-of-hours GP services at the hospital as well as the eight beds, plus three on demand, at the neighbouring Orders of St John care home, which was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester last week.

Roger Dickinson, chairman of the Townlands Stakeholder Reference Group, said: “The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has purchased a total of 11 beds in the new care home and they will use these beds flexibly for people that require a period of rehabilitation and the new unit.

“I hope that that this arrangement will provide excellent care for people in Henley, who may require a short spell of medical intervention to get better.”

The care unit was originally due to open in March but this was put back several times due to problems including the recruitment of a clinical lead and the need to convert the first floor at the hospital, which was built according to the original plans with an 18-bed ward.

This work should be completed by the end of next month, meaning that staff and equipment for the unit can go in.

The new hospital is due to be formally opened by Tim Stevenson, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, on March 28.

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