New GWH ward opens its doors to first patients

Posted: February 1, 2018

Extra beds to help manage winter pressures

A new ward at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon has opened its doors to its first set of patients.
Dorcan Unit will provide the Swindon hospital with 10 additional beds for patients well enough to go home, but unable to do so while discussions around onward care are still taking place.

Located on the ground floor of the Brunel Treatment Centre, the newly constructed, temporary ward sits in former office space and will provide GWH with extra capacity during the current busy winter season.
By having a dedicated location for patients who are all but ready to go home or to another care environment, the hospital will be able to free up beds for emergency patients needing admission.
The ward is expected to be in use until April, at which time a decision regarding its future will be made.
Rachel Palfreeman, Matron for Planned Care, said: "It's incredibly exciting to open this new ward, which should provide us with some extra space at this busy time.
"This current winter has been one of the busiest on record, with more patients than ever before needing to be admitted to hospital for specialist care and treatment.
"These extra beds will help create more space on our wards as patients, who no longer need to be cared for in a ward environment, can wait to be discharged in a safe and supported location."

The ribbon to the new unit, which was able to be constructed following an award of special government funds to help hospitals through winter, was cut by Chairman Roger Hill at a brief opening event attended by staff from across the organisation.
Shortly after opening, staff in the unit began caring for the first intake of patients.
For more information on Dorcan Unit, visit

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