Wexham Park Hospital opens prefab ward

A crane lifts part of a unit into place
Image caption The new wards arrived at Wexham Park Hospital in March

The first of two prefabricated wards has opened to patients at a Berkshire hospital to deal with "extraordinary demand" for beds.

The 16-bed Christiansen Unit at Wexham Park Hospital, near Slough, has been named after Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Christiansen.

The wards were brought to the site in sections and lifted into place.

Combined, the new wards, which cost £1m and were built to last for 25 years, will provide 28 beds.

The second ward is expected to open in May.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the new ward would be used by patients recovering from surgery, but only when there were no beds available in the main hospital.

"We are coming out of a particularly difficult winter period which saw all trusts across the country struggle for beds," said Deirdre Thompson, director of nursing at the trust.

"The new wards will enable us to see the sickest patients quickly and allow them to get the treatment they need."

The £1m total cost of the wards includes about £300,000 for equipment.

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