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Urgent revamp at Medway Maritime Hospital starts with children's A&E

By Jenni Horn

Children will be treated in a separate emergency area under plans to revamp A&E at Medway hospital.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has applied for planning permission to create a dedicated paediatric emergency room.

The changes are part of an urgent update of A&E, which was shamed in the Keogh review.

Medway Maritime Hospital

The report, which investigated high death rates, branded the layout totally unsuitable. The children's area was among those viewed as being particularly poor.

The trust has applied to make changes to the MedOCC building, next to A&E, to accommodate the new unit.

MedOCC will be moved to a newly refurbished area, enabling staff to treat more patients who are referred from A&E.

The MedOCC team provide appointments with GPs and nurses for people who need medical help, but are not facing a life-threatening emergency. The new area, which opens later this month, will incorporate six consulting rooms.

Medway Maritime Hospital has previously been described as 'one of the most challenged' in the country

Work has now started on the £5 million redevelopment of A&E and relocation of MedOCC is the first stage.

"We will be asking people to bear with us while we get the shape of the services right..." - trust spokesman

MedOCC will close between Tuesday, April 15, at 6pm and Wednesday, April 16, at 4pm. During this time, patients referred from the emergency department will be seen at the other MedOCC clinic at Chatham Maritime.

Every part of A&E is due to be updated and a number of sections will be completed by the winter, when the department is under the most pressure.

A spokesman for the trust said: "These exciting changes may cause some disruption so we will be asking people to bear with us while we get the shape of the services right."

Other changes will include an acute assessment unit and different treatment areas. Patients will be assessed upon arrival and then split into the separate areas.

Last month, the Care Quality Commission delivered a damning report on emergency care at Medway and said urgent improvements were needed.

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