A new stroke ward has opened at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, following a major refurbishment by Lindum.

The unit has moved down a floor, to Ward 8B on the eighth level of the Sibsey Road main hospital tower block, as part of an ongoing capital investment project by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT)

The £1.8 million “˜Big Change’ project has involved the reconfiguration of emergency care and ambulatory services at Pilgrim to help speed up the flow of patients coming through and ease pressures on its A&E department.

The new state-of-the-art ward will be home to Pilgrim’s specialist stroke team, which was crowned Clinical Team of the Year at the hospital’s staff awards earlier this year.

The new ward offers patients 24 beds, with a bespoke thrombolysis room and rehabilitation gym and a suite of brand new computers.

The entire Big Change programme is a reconfiguration of some of Pilgrim’s current services with the aim of improving the patient experience and journey through the hospital, in addition to alleviating pressure on its emergency department ensuring patients do not experience long waits in A&E.

It will also create more opportunities for different staff specialties including more consultant physicians, nurses, and occupational therapy and pharmacy posts.

Work to transform the ward would usually take around 22 weeks but was completed by Lindum in just 14 weeks so the service could be up and running as soon as possible.

Contracts Manager Shaun Cass said the ward had been stripped back to its shell.

“It has new walls, floors, doors and ceilings and also has new ventilation, sanitary ware and mechanical and electrical installations,” he said.

“A project such as this – on a live hospital site – involves constant communication with the client and it is vital that we keep them informed of the work we are doing and how we are doing it. Any interruption to services, such as cutting off the power, can become a life or death situation if you don’t have proper communication.

“The hospital staff seemed very happy with our work when we handed back the building, ready for the Trust to complete its clinical clean before the first patients arrived.

“As a Lincolnshire construction company, we are very happy to be helping to improve services for local people and where possible, we made an effort to use local labour and the local supply chain too.”

The Big Change project kicked off this summer as a response to the ever growing demand the hospital is seeing on its A&E department and to help safeguard its planned surgical activities, to prevent cancelled operations.

Work has involved major improvements to parts of the main hospital tower block, in addition to creating a new integrated assessment centre (IAC) on the ground floor, to house the current ambulatory emergency care (AEC) and surgical admissions units (SAU).

Alongside this sits the new aptly named 12-bed orthopaedic (Nye) Bevan ward, as a nod to this year’s NHS 70 celebrations, which will also include a trauma assessment unit.

The third floor has become a new 48-bed acute medical short stay unit (AMSS) for a maximum stay of 72 hours, while the fifth floor houses a new 54-bed integrated surgical unit for general, vascular and urology surgery.

The new stroke unit is on the eighth floor, with the orthopaedic trauma ward finally settling up on the ninth floor as the final phase of the project.

The new IAC will allow patients to be seen and assessed quicker than ever before, with all teams working together to ensure the most appropriate treatment is delivered as soon as possible.  It will also feature new point of care (POC) testing equipment, ultrasound machines and patient trolleys and recliners.