New facilities that will benefit patients needing treatment in the emergency department at Royal Hampshire County Hospital have been officially opened.
As part of the improvement works happening across Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, building work has been taking place over the course of the last few months to extend the emergency department at Winchester hospital, allowing several new areas to be added.
One of these is an Emergency Department Paediatric Area (EDPA), which is a specialist unit for children coming into the department. This ensures that younger patients are now cared for in a purpose-built area, away from other patients in the department.
Three Rapid Assessment and Treatment (RAT) bays have also been created. These allow patients who have arrived by ambulance to be assessed quickly when they reach the department. Treatment can then begin ahead of them being admitted to another part of the hospital.
A new reception and waiting area has also been created, making the department more welcoming for patients when they arrive.
Karen Bumstead, clinical matron for the emergency department at Winchester hospital, said: “We are really happy with the new facilities and they are going to make a big difference in a number of ways.
“Not only will they mean that our patients have a better experience when they need our help, but they will allow us to deliver the standard of care that we aspire to, both for our adult and younger patients.
“Having a dedicated children’s area will go a long way to meeting the requirements that the Care Quality Commission asked us to address when they visited us last year, while the Rapid Assessment and Treatment bays will allow us to begin caring for patients who arrive by ambulance sooner, allowing ambulance crews to get out to their next emergency call faster.
“Having a brand new, bespoke unit like this will also help us when it comes to recruiting new doctors and nurses to join our team.”
Building these new facilities required the hard work and dedication of many different staff from across the Trust. During a special ceremony, which saw Winchester MP Steve Brine officially open the new facilities, non-clinical members of the team were celebrated and got the chance to see first-hand the positive difference their hard work has made.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Winchester hospital, as well as hospitals in Andover and Basingstoke, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made this happen. It takes a whole team to ensure we are delivering outstanding care to our patients, including clinical staff, team members from estates, our domestic teams and more.
“I’m delighted that we are able to open these new facilities to help us continue to provide the best possible care for the people of Winchester and the surrounding area.”