A brand-new £1 million visitor space and reception area has been officially opened in the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s ICU Department this week.

The work to help improve the experience for friends and family visiting the centre began in 2022 and is said to be ‘making a difference already’.

The visitors centre and new reception is located on the 3rd floor of the hospital’s South Block and features a modern and welcoming environment. The previous intercom-based entry system into the department has been replaced with face-to-face interaction at the entrance.

This aims to provide a human touch during very stressful times in the ICU.

Fenella Derbyshire, ICU Directorate Manager who has been overseeing the refurbishment said, “It’s great to see the finished result after months of hard work from many people. It’s important to all of the staff in the department that our patients receive the best possible care.

“And now that can extend to their family and friends too, in how we welcome them when they first arrive, and the facilities they have while they are here.”

The team at Royal Berkshire Hospital’s ICU department has commented on the difference that the investment has made to friends and families coming to the ICU.

Steve McManus, Chief Executive said: “My background is as an Intensive Care nurse, and I know just how much it helps patients to recover when they have their family and friends with them. I hope this space gives visitors to the department somewhere to regroup, and that it allows them to focus their energies on supporting their loved ones as they take each step towards recovery.”