STRUCTURE: A new high dependent unit has opened at James Cook University Hospital, part of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It cost £4.5m and has 16 beds, combining medical and surgical HDU beds.

Clinical director of critical care Stephen Bonner said: “This is a massive achievement and reflects how well the surgical and medical teams have worked together, along with everyone else involved in the build, to make this happen.

“Having these critically ill patients cared for in one area by highly trained specialist nurses and a resident doctor immediately available has been shown to save lives, as well as improving the quality of patient care and the whole patient experience,2 he added.

“The expansion in beds will also minimise the cancellation of major surgery that requires critical care, something which can be extremely distressing to patients and their families, as well as making better use of the ward beds.”