One of the UK’s first high dependency units dedicated to neurology patients opens at NHNN 

23/08/2019 00:00 
UCLH has opened one of the first high dependency units (HDU) especially for neurology patients in the UK at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN).

The unit is a step between a ward and an intensive care unit (ICU) and will provide four beds for patients who are between needing the close care of intensive care and being in a ward.

An opening ceremony took place on Monday with staff being given a tour of the new facility.

It features four rooms – one of which is en suite – as well as a separate bathroom and a nurses’ station. There is also artwork on the walls featuring healing plants.

Jenny McDonald, ward sister for ITU and HDU, said: “It is a big step for patients and their families going from ITU to the ward so this HDU gives a nicer transition between the two - it is a stepping stone.

“Everyone is very excited about the opening of the new unit and we are looking forward to welcoming our first patients.”

The new unit is staffed and equipped to provide a level care that is an intermediate between MITU and the neurology wards, allowing patients from the neurology wards to step-up to a higher level of care when needed, as well as those patients in the neurology ITU to step-down.

The new facility will also mean that patients who have had a thrombectomy – an innovative surgery which removes a blood clot in stroke patients – can be cared for at the NHNN after their operation instead of having to go to University College London. Developing thrombectomy surgery is a key priority of the NHS, as laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Chris Turner, divisional clinical director for Queen Square, opened the unit on Monday, praising the hard work of the staff who were instrumental in it being established.

He said: “This is a fantastic facility and one where I would be happy to be treated.

“Thank you to everyone who enabled this unit to become a reality with their hard-work, dedication and commitment.

“This unit is really going to benefit patients and their relatives.”

The unit opened on Monday 19 August and started accepting patients on the same day.

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