Medway's emergency department to get £5m revamp
Plans have been agreed for a major redevelopment of Medway’s A&E, which last year was branded "totally unsuitable" in a NHS report.
The developments will cost up to an estimated £5 million and key sections will be completed in time for winter 2014/2015 when the emergency department is under the greatest demand.
Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham
Mark Devlin, Medway NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, said: “This is very good news for our patients. We have known for some time that our emergency department facilities are just not up to the job, despite the excellent work of the staff.
"It was designed in the days when up to 50,000 patients a year came through the doors for accident and emergency treatment. Now it’s around 90,000 patients a year and rising.
“The report by Sir Bruce Keogh and his team in June last year made it clear that the emergency department is often full to capacity, and has an unsuitable layout and environment.
“A further issue is that you can’t isolate the problems of the emergency department from those of the rest of the hospital, especially urgent and critical care. They all impact on each other.”
Chief nurse Steve Hams said emergency department clinicians and nurses have been closely involved in the planning.
He added: “As soon as we saw the Keogh report’s recommendations we set up an expert team to look into how to improve radically the way the hospital works and the care we provide.
"We used our own clinicians as part of the review, as well as acknowledged experts in the field from outside.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Mark Devlin
“They produced a far-reaching, detailed plan for action called Transforming Medway - the Medway Clinical Transformational Strategy which is the plan we have been working to in recent months.
"This redevelopment of the Emergency Department is a key part of transforming the hospital to provide a much better service for patients.”
The redevelopment will update every part of the emergency department but the Trust said the work has been carefully planned so as to minimise disrupting services as the work is carried out.
“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,” Mr Devlin added.
The move will include a new acute assessment unit which will be in place by December 2014.
Rehman Chishti, MP for Gillingham and Rainham, has welcomed the investment.
He said: “I am delighted that Medway NHS Foundation Trust has announced this new investment in the Accident and Emergency facilitates at Medway Maritime Hospital, which will be welcomed by all patients.
“Medway has the busiest emergency department in Kent, with around 250 people visiting it every single day and it will help to ensure that patients receive the treatment they need.”
- Click here for more Medway news
- Click here for more news from across the county