Leeds: Beds for the elderly are now on one site

All older people's hospital wards in Leeds are now on the same site - for the first time.

The final wards have moved from Leeds General Infirmary, so in-patient care for elderly people is now centralised at St James's Hospital.

Previously it was split between the two hospitals and five LGI wards have been moved across the city as part of the changes.

The first was ward 28 from Martin Wing at the LGI, which transferred to the newly-refurbished Ward 4 in Gledhow Wing at St James's.

Moving day coincided with a bout of heavy snow but Sister Karen Greenwood said everything went as smoothly as possible, with 15 patients and the ward equipment moved and everything functioning again by 10.30am.

"It was quite an undertaking to organise the move and find everything when we unpacked at the other end but the important thing was that we managed to maintain patient care," she said.

"For those patients who moved over I think it was a great reassurance that the doctors, nurses and other ward staff they were used to were transferring at the same time, so we were all in it together."

Sister Greenwood and her staff are already seeing many benefits.

"The ward is roomier and everything is new and bright, and we have a lot more storage space so it doesn't look nearly so cluttered," she said.

"We have two nurses' stations rather than one and more office accommodation and space to talk to relatives. Across from us in Ward 5 is another older people's ward that has moved from Beckett Wing, so that is really helping us mix with colleagues from St James's It is handy to be next door as we can share things and help each other out."

The new wards have an airline-style patient call system to show nurses which patients need attention, clearer signs, red doors to identify bathrooms and more side rooms. The design of four-bed bays also makes it easier to ensure ward areas are single sex.

The move was part of major service changes.