WORK has started on the next phase of a new £850,000 emergency department area at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Health bosses say when completed in February, the new Rapid Assessment Area will bring “tremendous improvements” for patients in terms of better facilities, patient privacy and dignity and advanced environmental conditions.
The £550,000 new ward will be located at the back of the emergency department, replacing the A&E offices.
It will be a 10 bed ward for patients needing observation over a 24-hour period.
John Quinn, directorate manager for emergency and acute medicine, said the new assessment area, along with the recent refurbishment in the major emergency area, meant the unit will meet the demands of the 21st Century.
“In this winter period we are at our highest levels of pressure in the department and we have coped better because of the work already done in the emergency area.
“We have now got the space to manage patients in a better and even more dignified way.
“The new major emergency area, which was opened last month, gives us a unit which can respond to the through-put of patients we have in Blackpool.
“In the past, patients often had to wait to go into a cubicle.
“Our new facility allows patients to be settled quicker and we are already starting to see improved ambulance turn-around times as ambulance staff stay with the patient until they are in an assessment area. The new Rapid Assessment Area will complete the major refurbishment work which has been on-going since September.
“Patients have always been at the forefront of our minds during this work, but as patient demand changes, it has become necessary to rejuvenate what was a tired environment to make the new emergency department fit-for-purpose. We can give patients the highest possible care in the best possible surroundings.”
Philip Davies, capital projects manager at the hospital trust, added: “We set a demanding six-week construction schedule because we are in the winter period, but we are on target for completion in February.
“Project engineers Laing O’Rourke are experienced at working with this hospital and have delivered quality work within the strict time restraints.”