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THE Victoria Infirmary is undergoing a major refurbishment of all its wards over the next 18 months.
The work, when completed in 2004, will see the hospital continue its role as south-east Glasgow's principal emergency receiving hospital until 2010.
The upgrading work will include new hygiene measures – such as increasing the space between beds and installing more wash hand basins – ensuring continuation of the high standards expected of Scottish hospitals.
The move follows a review by the Trust, the Health & Safety Executive and independent Infection Control professionals from the NHS and Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH) which identified the need for modernisation work to be carried out in the hospital to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and infection control.
Part of the South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust, the Victoria Infirmary has already begun its £4million refurbishment programme, with five wards having undergone modernisation work already.
In addition to the wash hand basins, the programme will also see the installation of all new bed head services (nurse call units), upgraded patient toilets, replacement ward and window curtains, new lighting and decor.
The refurbishment project brings with it improved patient amenities. However, it will mean a reduction in beds; once complete, the Victoria's net bed capacity will be reduced by 60. Robert Calderwood, Chief Executive of the South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
"By introducing these new measures, we are not only providing a modern environment for patients and improved hygiene and infection control, but also lessening the chance of future ward closures brought on by an infection outbreak."
The redevelopment of clinical facilities in South Glasgow will see the services provided at the Victoria replaced over the next seven years to 2010. The first phase of the redevelopment is by a brand new £80m walk-in-walk-out hospital on a site opposite the existing Accident and Emergency entrance. This will be followed by the opening of the new £250million South Glasgow Hospital on the existing Southern General Site. Mr Calderwood explained that the Trust had been looking at ways to lessen the impact this move will have on services provided by the hospital during the run-up to the new acute hospitals taking over. He said:
"Decisions have been taken to relocate paediatrics, ENT and gynaecology to Yorkhill and the Southern General, freeing up beds that would normally have been taken by patients using these services. Additionally, as part of the acute services review process we are actively working in partnership with our local authority colleague to tackle ‘bed blocking, as well as a review of the services for rehabilitation of the elderly, in an effort to release some 150 beds. "All these measures are being carried out in the interests of improving services for patients and providing a modern, safe health environment in which they can be cared for."
ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Victoria Infirmary is today a teaching hospital with an acute operational bed complement of 446. The services it provides include:·