Making hospital a whole lot better
8:00am Monday 11th March 2013 in News
THE emergency department at the Great Western Hospital is set to expand in size by a quarter, creating new jobs and reducing waiting times for patients.
Work is expected to begin in May and be finished in October in time for the busy winter period, and will involve modernising the department as well as creating a children’s emergency department.
The £1million project is planned to take place in 13 phases to enable the department to function as normal whilst work is carried out, but patients will experience slight changes to the environment during this period.
Leighton Day, deputy general manager for unscheduled care, said staff are looking forward to the makeover, which will be the first the department has had since the hospital opened a decade ago and will include improvements to the reception and waiting area, re-flooring, and creating larger staff bases and handover areas.
“The whole department will get a facelift as it is looking dated, but what is very exciting is that we will also have a children’s emergency deparment,” he said.
“Children will wait in a separate area and be treated somewhere else. This is not only to provide a better environment, but increase the safety of the children in the department.”
Currently, 23 per cent of the 200 patients who attend the department every day are children, which means moving these patients to their own department will have a positive knock-on effect on the waiting times of adults in the emergency department.
“We will be increasing our staff levels, but we are expecting the same number of patients and the same number of children to come through the door.”
The new children’s emergency department will be located next to the current ED, in space which is currently unused. The Trust will be looking to fundraise for the department to kit it out with toys, furniture and games for the children and plans to hold an abseil on May 18 with all proceeds donated to the department.
Leighton said: “While the NHS will cover the main cost of the development, we want to make the children’s ED as welcoming as possible, with toys, artwork and books which will help to reduce the scare factor of A&E.
“Patients can expect some disruption to the flow, as well as a slight change in the environment while build work goes on, but we have moulded the programme to incorporate 13 phases for the work, to reduce that disruption as best we can.”