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New ward opens at Benenden Hospital

A new 26-bed ward has just opened to patients at Benenden Hospital in Kent. The Bensan ward, named after the erstwhile band that accompanied TB patients leaving the hospital after a long stay for treatment, includes 20 single en suite rooms.

On the ground floor of the same building are three ultra-modern theatres and a new endoscopy suite.

Graham Goddard, the hospital development project director, said: “We are very pleased that we are now able to offer these fantastic facilities to our patients. The new ward and the en suite patient rooms are bright and spacious, and are fitted out with new equipment and furniture. Some of the rooms have magnificent views across the Kent countryside.

“Our design concept took on board evidence from healing environment research which concludes that the physical healthcare environment can make a difference in how quickly the patient recovers.

“For example, patients are able to control their environment, such as the room temperature, and they can enjoy natural ventilation and light.

“Work now continues on phase two, with the entire project to open in spring 2017. Once complete we will have a first-class hospital with excellent facilities.”

Next steps

The remaining areas of the hospital were recently vacated and handed over to the hospital’s contractors Willmott Dixon, with staff and patients moved into newly created areas. When complete, phase two will provide a new outpatients department, an eye unit, a physiotherapy area, a pharmacy, a new light, airy and spacious atrium, a restaurant and new car parking adjacent to the hospital.

 

There will also be a new scanning and imaging suite, which will include new MRI and CT scanners. Following completion of the hospital redevelopment there will be a further stage of work to upgrade and change the use of the industrial buildings opposite the hospital. A new learning and development centre is to be created for staff and external organisations, although these plans are still to be finalised.

 

Jane Abbott, hospital director, said: “It is wonderful to see our superb facilities now being used. Hospital staff have been wonderful, continuing to deliver an excellent service for our patients, and I would like to thank them for their support.”

 

Interior design

 

The hospital is working with an artist and photographer on aspects of the redevelopment’s interior design.

 

Hugh Turvey is artist in residence with the British Institute of Radiology. He specialises in taking x-ray images of everyday objects and creating artworks from these. His works are a hybrid of science, graphic design and photography.

Turvey’s image of foxgloves is already on display by one of the nurse stations on the Bensan ward, and other images will be put on show throughout the hospital over time.

In 2014, Turvey was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society for his work as an advocate for imaging innovation and its role in the advancement of science and understanding.

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