BY TOBY PORTER
A new accident and emergency department at one of South London’s biggest hospitals is close to completion after a major treatment centre was opened there.
St Thomas’ Hospital began treating patients there last week in the latest phase of a four-year scheme to create a complete floor in a single zone for casualty care.
The Emergency Department at St Thomas’ sees 140,000 patients coming through its doors each year, including 27,000 children.
The new Majors area is bigger and better than before, with 25 treatment cubicles, a more efficient, open layout and improved facilities for staff and relatives.
The final stage of the project will be completed in early May when a new Clinical Decision Unit moves from its temporary location.
Clinical lead Dr Katherine Henderson said: “Our new department will improve the quality of care as well as the overall experience of patients requiring emergency treatment.
“I am incredibly proud of the fact that such a huge redevelopment has been carried out while existing emergency services have remained open 24-hours-a-day and can’t thank our staff enough for their patience and dedication.”
Built by Logan Construction and designed by architects ADP, the Emergency Department has been completely rebuilt to ensure that patients are cared for safely and efficiently in a brighter, more comfortable environment.
Dr Simon Eccles, consultant in emergency medicine who led work to transform the emergency care at St Thomas’, said: “We now have state-of-the-art facilities to help us treat increasing numbers of patients but this project wasn’t just about increasing capacity.
“By creating a new Emergency Floor we have been able to improve the patient journey for all our patients by ensuring we have the right facilities to treat them all in one place.”
The project has already delivered the following benefits for patients:
- new 62-bed admission ward with ensuite facilities
- urgent care centre where patients with less serious conditions can be treated by GPs and emergency nurse practitioners
- new emergency department (A&E) entrance, registration, assessment and waiting area
- new dedicated children’s emergency department and six-bed short stay unit
- improved resuscitation area with larger treatment cubicles and dedicated trauma and isolation rooms
- artwork funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity to create a welcoming environment and help patients navigate their way to the right area
The emergency department will remain open and all emergency services will continue to operate as normal during the final period of construction.