IT’S a £1.5m improvement that will make patients much more comfortable at a Southampton hospital.

Work has finished on Southampton General Hospital’s new intensive care isolation unit.

And the unit should open to patients within the next two weeks, offering three treatment rooms for specialist care.

It will look after patients who will benefit in isolation, such as those with drug-resistant bacteria or undergoing chemotherapy, and staff say it will also improve patient experience.

Dr Max Jonas, director of the unit, said: “This is a project that started over a year ago to increase the capacity for the specialist work that we do at Southampton. We are fortunate to get investment from the trust to convert some of our support accommodation into three world-class isolation beds.

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“We are delighted with the results and we look forward to remodelling the whole of the ICU to enable us to treat the increasingly complex cases that we do at Southampton.”

Ward matron Suzanne Rampton added it meant patients would be more comfortable thanks to greater bed space, dimmable lights and with less activity than the main ICU.

She said: “We have a lot of issues in the ICU with patients becoming sleep deprived because of all the things happening around them and the lights but in here we can dim the lights and also have a halo system where lights project onto the floor so the nurses can see what they are doing and the patient can sleep.

“We are just doing a few final checks before opening it to the public and it means we will be up and running so we are ready to face the challenges that winter brings and what it does to existing medical conditions.”

She added: “We have an excellent nursing staff here and I’m very proud of that so it is nice to have a facility that marries the standard of nursing with the standard of medical care.”