A SOUTHAMPTON hospital has been recognised on a national level for its 'state-of-the-art' intensive care unit.

Having opened in September last year, the general intensive care unit (GICU) at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) provides 22 beds for the South's most critically ill patients.

Since opening it has treated more than 1,700 patients, with 386 of those being Covid-19 patients, and now the project team behind it has been named South West region winners in the 2021 Health Estates and Facilities Management Association (HEFMA) Awards.

The GICU project team was made up of experts from the estates and facilities department at UHS, building contractors and clinicians including doctors and nurses who played a 'key role' in designing the new facility.

HEFMA's annual event was held live on Twitter on Tuesday and was aimed at recognising the hard work and achievements of individuals and teams who work in estates and facilities management for the NHS.

Taking in around 2,500 people a year with severe, life-threataning injuries or illnesses, the hospital unit spans 1,400 square metre and takes up the first floor of the five-storey block next to the front entrance of the hospital.

It took 18 months to complete and was paid for by savings made by the Trust.

Now, principal projects manager at UHS, Glen Campbell has said the team is "delighted" to win the award.

He added: "“It is a tribute to every individual and team who has worked so hard to make this happen and to complete the first phase on time and on budget during what has been a very challenging period during the pandemic.

“It was no mean feat and is something we are all incredibly proud of.”

Having been delivered on time within budget, the facility even features a specialist rehabilitation area where patients can now have physiotherapy without the need to be taken to another part of the hospital.

Dr Sanjay Gupta, lead GICU consultant at UHS, said: “The new GICU couldn’t have come at a more crucial time with the pandemic putting extra pressure on the service with severely ill Covid patients on top of our usual admissions.

“It has been cleverly designed to create an environment that is modern, spacious, innovative and full of light where we can continue to provide the very best care for our most critically ill patients."

The Trust’s new ward for blood cancers (C2 ward), a 27-bed unit built last year in just six months, was also shortlisted for the honour.