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New isolation ward opens at Guildford's Royal Surrey

2 minute read
New isolation ward opens at Guildford's Royal Surrey

Published at 4:01pm 20th July 2020.

A new isolation unit has opened at Guildford's Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust today (20 July) to care for patients suffering from COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.

The 20-bed ward was declared officially open by the Mayor of Guildford, Councillor Richard Billington, and was also attended by the MP for Guildford, Angela Richardson, and leader of Guildford Borough Council, Caroline Reeves.

Named the Guildford Borough Council Ward, the new £4 million building was constructed in just 14 weeks, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Guildford Ward opening

The isolation rooms will allow patients with infectious diseases to be treated away from the main hospital environment.

Twenty-eight staff members have volunteered to be redeployed from other departments, including the Emergency Assessment Unit which became one of the hospital’s dedicated COVID-19 wards during the peak of the pandemic, to work in the new ward. 

Dr John de Vos, clinical director, told Eagle Radio about why it has been built:

"We made all the plans during the first peak of the pandemic to manage those patients in the main hospital.

"But, it was the idea that well, if we're going to have to live with this in medicine and in the world then we will have that very safely managed by having a separate ward for this.

"It's very important for COVID-19 patients because they need the best possible care and the safest environment, and it also needs to prevent it from spreading to other patients or other members of the public and staff.

"But equally very important is that the normal hospital and all the normal services should really be back to normal or getting back to normal."

He added it felt "appropriate" to name it after the council because of their help in "getting this project through so incredibly quickly".