Rainbow ward, Barnet Hospital’s brand new modular unit, opened its doors to patients on Monday 5 October.

The ward provides 35 new beds, creating extra capacity to help treat patients through the winter months.

Barnet Hospital’s new director of nursing, Bev Thomas, was there to oversee the opening. She said:  "What a fantastic way to start my new role.  I was privileged to see the first patient arrive. We have a multidisciplinary team here, working very hard to ensure that this additional capacity brings with it a very positive experience for our patients.

“The staff were all very welcoming and excited to be part of this amazing new facility, which promotes social distancing in the clinical area.”

Bev added: “This week is also malnutrition week, so it was lovely to see and hear nutrition and protected meal times being part of the discussion about this new ward. Congratulations and well done to the entire Barnet team."

Rainbow ward has 15 side rooms to help ensure that staff can follow the infection control requirements needed to safely manage patients – particularly important given the challenges posed by COVID-19. Long-term it will be used for patients receiving medical inpatient care.

Construction started in April, while the hospital was tackling the first wave of the pandemic, and has been completed over just a few short months. Teams from across the hospital have worked with external contractors to make this possible – and staff were also given the opportunity to choose the ward’s name.  ‘Rainbow ward’ reflects the bright spirit of our hospitals and the incredible hard work of staff in response to COVID-19.

Group chief nurse Julie Hamilton was involved with the project from the start. She said: “We’re very proud of what our clinical, operational and estates teams have done over a short period of time to bring much needed additional bed capacity to Barnet Hospital. This will aid in ensuring that patients are brought to the right place at the right time, improving their experience. It will also be essential in coping with winter pressures.”

Pictured above: a multidisciplinary team were present to open the ward.

Rainbow ward is the new 35 bed modular unit at Barnet Hospital.  

Members of the Barnet Hospital team oversee the opening. L-R: Sally Dootson, director of operations, Mike Greenberg, medical director, Susan Tierney, interim director of nursing, and Bev Thomas, director of nursing. 

Staff prepared the ward for opening.