Staff and patients at Kingston Hospital were joined by special guest Ben Ash, acclaimed session guitarist, music teacher and mentor, to celebrate the official opening of a new, purpose-built Audiology and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) building.
The fully accessible state-of-the-art Aspen Building, located at the centre of the hospital site, contains consultation, examination and treatment rooms including audiometric test booths, an audiology laboratory, a voice therapy suite and staff and administration areas.
The unit also has radiological and cellular pathology facilities for fine needle aspiration biopsies to be taken and analysed on site, enabling same-day diagnosis of head and neck tumours.
Funding from Kingston Hospital Charity, to the tune of £34,000, has also gone towards enhancing the environment for patients. The audiometric test booths have been made more welcoming and conducive to testing young children and adults with cognitive disorders who may become anxious, with the aim of reducing the need for multiple visits to the hospital.
Ben Ash joined Kingston Hospital’s Chair, Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs, and Chief Operating Officer, Tracey Moore, to cut the ribbon and officially declare the building open.
Ben said: “It was a real privilege to be asked to cut the ribbon to this progressive department. Being a working creative has its occupational pitfalls and the support I’ve had from Justine Sweet and the team (including the regulars at the Tinnitus Support Group) has been amazing. It’s a crucial thing for everyone to look after their hearing and it is equally important to exercise a growth mindset with the challenges ahead – they do both, here.”
Justine Sweet, General Manager for Specialist Surgery, Specialist Outpatients and Cancer Services, and Head of Audiology at Kingston Hospital, said: “We are delighted that our dedicated Audiology and ENT building is now officially open. The new building enables us to better deliver outstanding care to patients and has improved the experience of both patients and staff. Thank you to Ben for joining us to celebrate the official opening and thank you to everyone who has been involved with the designing, planning, and building works. I am incredibly grateful to you all.”