Work is underway on a £2.7m revamp of two key wards at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Wards 41 and 42 at the hospital are undergoing refurbishments that contractors Tolent said would "increase space and improve facilities for both patients and staff".

Ward 41 - currently part of the RVI's stroke unit - will instead be integrated into the maternity wing of the hospital.

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The idea is to better make use of the space available - with the plan as it stands to create a new "care space" which would provide in-patient and out-patient care to mothers and babies who may have to be in hospital for extended periods.

Meanwhile Ward 42 will become a specialist stroke ward.

There will be four new bays, each with six beds, four cubicles, a new assessment suite, a staff room and a patient rehab gym.

Newcastle Hospitals' Robert Lees and David Thompson from Tolent outside of the RVI
Newcastle Hospitals' Robert Lees and David Thompson from Tolent outside of the RVI

Robert Lees, a senior project manager on the Newcastle Hospitals Trust's estates team, said: "These key upgrade projects will provide immediate benefits and create an improved environment for both patients and staff.

"As an outstanding Trust, these improved facilities will help our staff continue to provide the highest standard of care and we look forward to seeing the completed works."

The scheme has been designed by architects P+HS - also based in the city - and it is the twelfth contract awarded to Tolent, which is headquartered in Team Valley, in recent years.

Both architects and contractors have previously worked on schemes across the RVI and the Freeman Hospital as part of the ongoing revamp of local NHS buildings.

Tolent's regional director David Thompson said the firm was "delighted to be continuing our relationship".

He added: "“The work being carried out is going to make a real difference to the care of patients and the wellbeing of the staff who care for them, and it’s something we’re proud to be involved in."

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