Enniskillen's new £276m acute hospital will be the first facility of its kind in Northern Ireland to have single ensuite rooms for every patient.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust yesterday offered a preview of the 300-bed hospital which will serve the south west of the province from next year.
The four-storey acute hospital, now under construction, will house outpatient and accident and emergency wards, operating theatres and research laboratories.
Among the state-of-the art facilties revealed yesterday was a plan to have a single ensuite room for each patient.
This was designed with safety in mind and all rooms will be identical to reduce the risk of clinical error, while the distance from the bed to bathroom will be minimal to reduce the risk of falls.
Treating patients in single rooms also helps to maximise infection control and the hospital’s design means it will be easy to clean — further reducing the level of hospital acquired infections.
There are sensor taps in all clinical areas, materials have been carefully selected, edges and ledges that catch dust have been removed, and surfaces treated with an antibacterial coating.
Separate routes are also planned for clean goods and service traffic and dirty waste to reduce the risk of contamination.
Patients’ rooms have full height windows to showcase the ‘healing’ views over a natural environment.
The spacious single rooms offer good staff observation while preserving patient privacy.
Dr Jim Kelly, consultant geriatrician at the Erne and lead clinician for the new acute hospital, said: “Clinical staff are excited about the new hospital facilities and an intensive programme of site familiarisation and training has commenced to prepare for the move in June 2012.”
Deputy chief executive for the Western Health & Social Care Trust Joe Lusby said: “This is really an exciting period in the lifetime of our new state-of-the-art acute hospital.
“As the finishing touches are put on the first hospital wards we can see what a wonderful facility this will be.
“Our nurses, doctors and the clinical teams will deliver services in leading edge settings.”
Mr Lusby said the first blocks of the hospital are very near completion and a process to verify that the rooms are completed to specification is now well under way.
He said this process will provide independent and expert reassurance the buildings are finished to the highest technical and clinical standards that have been set.
The trust is now putting all the necessary plans in place to ensure the new hospital is ready to receive patients in June 2012.
Staff from each department has been assigned responsibilities for this important stage to make sure everything happens to plan.
This includes the purchase of new medical equipment, new operational procedures for each service area, training plans, as well as a comprehensive plan for the safe transfer of patients from the current Erne Hospital to the new acute hospital facility.
Project: New acute hospital for the South West
Location: Wolf Lough, north of Enniskillen
Site size: 52 acres — 34 acre development zone
Capital cost: £276m
Building size: 65,000 m2, housing 300 beds
Construction start date: May 2009
Completion date: Summer 2012