Enabling works will commence this week for the new £4m Neonatal Unit (also known as the Special Care Baby Unit) at Noble’s Hospital. The new Unit is being designed to provide the very highest standard of care for babies, and to meet evolving standards and guidelines in neonatal care. The new Unit will also help Noble’s Hospital to accommodate the increasing demand on neonatal services from a growing population.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:
'I’m pleased to see that work on this important development is progressing following Tynwald approval for the enabling works as part of this year’s Budget. The Department’s strategy is first and foremost about enabling all in our community to live healthy and fulfilling lives and achieving this through providing healthcare designed at promoting the best life chances. There can be no more important first step on this road than ensuring that newborn babies requiring neonatal support benefit from the very highest standards of care. Whilst Noble’s Hospital, which celebrates its tenth anniversary next month, may still seem like a new hospital, advancements in medical care are constant, and things have moved on significantly in the field of neonatal care in particular since the design phase of the hospital in the 1990s. This new facility will allow us to keep pace with these advancements and offer first rate medical care for vulnerable newborn babies – care that can continue to be high quality, safe and effective, and fit for the future.'
The new Unit will be sited next to the existing Jane Crookall Maternity Ward and neonatal facilities on the east side of the hospital complex. The enabling works, which will prepare the site for construction, are the first step of the project and should be completed by late summer. The detailed design for the Unit is being progressed and the Department will be seeking Tynwald approval for construction costs at its October sitting.
Dr Prakash Thiagarajan, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologistat Noble’s Hospital said:
'There really isn’t a more important moment in someone’s life than the birth of their baby – we all know how fragile and precious life is. Sadly, not all pregnancies and births go to plan, and sometimes a very high level of care is required in those crucial first hours and days of life. This new Unit will enable us to offer the very best care for our Island’s babies and their parents. Importantly, it addresses a long held desire to improve the physical environment and layout available for neonatal care, which was one area raised in the Healthcare Commission’s report in 2006.
The team at Noble’s Hospital is extremely grateful for this significant investment, which is enabling us to develop this vital service. There can be few experiences as distressing and heart wrenching for a parent than when their baby is seriously ill, even more so after months of anticipation, waiting and excitement. The quality of care and patient safety are of paramount importance at Noble’s Hospital’s, and we look forward to being able to continue to meet the exacting standards required in this critical field of healthcare to provide the best possible outcomes for premature and seriously ill newborns.'
During the construction process there will be changes to the traffic routes around Noble’s Hospital which will be well signposted.