Addenbrooke's Hospital opens new wards to ease Covid backlog

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image captionThe first new ward to open has capacity for 20 patients

A new 20-bed ward has been built on an old car park to increase capacity at a major hospital.

The ward is one of five planned by Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge over the coming year at a cost of £64m.

The new ward, T2, which with the four others will together add an extra 116 beds to the site, will be used for patients nearing discharge.

The hospital said the wards would free up space for those needing more care, for instance, after surgery.

"This additional capacity will help keep the hospital's recovery from the pandemic on track and help to reduce waiting lists," it said in a statement.

The five wards are being funded "through a combination of additional capital funding provided by the Department of Health and Social Care and the trust's own capital resource allocation", a spokeswoman said.

Ewen Cameron, chief operating officer for Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, said: "Keeping a good flow of patients through the hospital means we can recover more quickly from the pandemic."

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image captionBethany Ricketts, a senior sister at Addenbrooke's Hospital, will be working on the new ward

The first patients to be looked after in ward T2 are all medically fit for discharge but need some form of community support.

Bethany Ricketts, a senior sister and one of the new ward managers on T2, said: "This new unit helps us to ensure we have the right patients, on the right ward at the right time.

"Currently T2 is a space for patients to feel closer to home and begin their therapy and journey back into the community".

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