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New children's area at William Harvey Hospital A&E is improving services, according to health chiefs

Health chiefs insist Accident and Emergency (A&E) services at the William Harvey Hospital have improved for young people thanks a new paediatric waiting and treatment area.

Children are now assessed and treated in a specialist area and ambulance crews even have a separate entrance to bring in younger patients.

The new area opened in August and has already been used by over 2,000 patients.

Matthew Kershaw with Senior Sister Rosemary Ellis, Staff Nurse Jenny Vernon and Sister Miriam Keeler
Matthew Kershaw with Senior Sister Rosemary Ellis, Staff Nurse Jenny Vernon and Sister Miriam Keeler

Matthew Kershaw, chief executive of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), said: "Our new area is helping to improve how we care for our younger patients.

"It’s important that children and their families coming to our A&E department feel confident in the care they receive and comfortable in their surroundings, at what is a difficult time for them."

The most common reasons children attend A&E at the William Harvey are for breathing difficulties, fever, abdominal pain and fall injuries.

The department is busiest during evenings and weekends.

As winter approaches, the Trust has issued yet another appeal to people urging them to think twice before visiting the emergency room.

The hospital has apologised to Lena
The hospital has apologised to Lena

Around 30 per cent of the 74,000 patients who visited the William Harvey Hospital last year could have been treated by their GP, at a minor injury unit or at a walk in centre.

Dr Andrew Mortimer, A&E consultant at William Harvey Hospital said: "A&E provides a vital service for people in but we need to make sure that we save it for people with life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

“People with the most serious conditions are always seen first. Emergencies can come in at any time and this may affect where people are in the queue.

"So if you have an illness or injury that is not serious, you may be seen quicker elsewhere, such as a Minor Injury Unit, Urgent Care Centre or your GP."

There are more improvements underway at the William Harvey A&E, including the “meet and greet” system that was introduced in August.

Mr Kershaw added: "We are working very hard to reduce waiting times and help people get the right care in the right place as soon as possible."

Have you visited A&E recently? What do you think of the latest improvements? Join in the conversation on our Facebook page, write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@thekmgroup.co.uk.

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