New look for casualty

Sharon Ellis, Anne-Marie Walker, Hannah Ward and Natalie Pendleton.
Sharon Ellis, Anne-Marie Walker, Hannah Ward and Natalie Pendleton.
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THE first stage of a £900,000 revamp of Blackpool’s A&E department has opened for business.

The newly dubbed Emergency Department has had an initial £180,000 spent on it to make it more spacious, with new treatment rooms and a refurbished major treatment area.

John Quinn, emergency and acute medicine directorate manager, said the development meant a better experience for patients and a shorter wait to get into cubicles.

It will also mean ambulance crews can get back out on the road to their next call more quickly, as they will not have to wait so long with patients.

Mr Quinn said: “We have now got space to treat and support patients in a better and even more dignified way.

“This new development work gives us an emergency department fit for purpose for the future.”

The work, completed this week, means the area now has 13 treatment rooms and three treatment cubicles – six more rooms than previously.

Each room is well equipped with facilities to treat all major incidents.

Mr Quinn said: “In the past, we’ve not had enough space, so patients had to wait to go into a cubicle. Our new facility allows patients to be settled quicker and will mean improved ambulance turn-around times as ambulance staff stay with the patient until they are in an assessment area. Our target is to release an incoming ambulance crew out of the department within 20 minutes, this means the crew can respond promptly to the next person.

“There has been some disruption during the 10-week construction work, but staff have done well to tolerate a difficult working environment and maintain effective patient care. I would like to thank patients for bearing with us. I would also like to give credit to our estates staff and the building team, who have been respectful of patients’ needs.”

The nurses’ station has been redecorated with wipe-clean boarding and improved lighting giving a brighter feel to the whole unit.

Sharon Ellis, senior sister, said: “From a nursing perspective it gives us a more open, cleaner and brighter place to work. From the patient point of view it’s a better area to be in and more pleasant.

“The new panelling on the walls is easier to keep clean so it’s better for infection prevention.”

A further scheme is under way to build a 10-bed unit at the rear of the Emergency Department to support patients needing observation and monitoring for up to 24 hours.

Work is expected to be completed in January.