New intensive care unit planned for Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital

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image copyrightOxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
image captionThe new 48-bed unit would be built at the centre of the John Radcliffe complex

Plans for a new intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital, which would triple the number of beds for seriously ill patients, have been submitted.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust wants to build a new five-storey building on the existing John Radcliffe Hospital site in Oxford.

The hospital currently has 16 dedicated ICU beds although more have been used during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The trust said there was an "urgent requirement" for increased capacity.

In its application it said the new unit - which was already in the pipeline before the pandemic - would also serve Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The trust said it would "support future pandemic and seasonal pressures", adding: "Given the ongoing nature of the pandemic, the increase in critical care capacity must happen at speed."

The new 48-bed unit would have beds arranged in a "race-track" formation, sitting around the edges of the room so patients would have some exposure to natural light from windows.

It would replace the existing Barnes Unit at the centre of the John Radcliffe complex.

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