A few weeks ago I wrote about the original Intensive Care Unit (ICU) set up in The Old Site in 1959, known as the Blue Room.
When the first stage of the new hospital opened in 1962 special care areas were created for neurosurgical and head injury patients, but other surgical or trauma patients were ventilated on the wards. In 1974 the general surgical beds moved into the second stage of the new site and an intensive care unit was provided on C6, an orthopaedic ward. The Blue Room remained open until 1976, when the medical wards moved down to the New Site.
By that time there was a clear need for a proper unit. It was decided that a 10 bed ward should be converted into a six bed ICU; this was to last until the definitive unit was built in Phase III. However, the staff establishment remained at a total of 16 nurses, officially to cover only four beds, although by this time there was always a doctor on duty during ‘working hours’.