Work is well underway on major improvements to our Emergency Department at King George Hospital – which will include more space to care for patients experiencing mental health issues, with an area specifically for children.
Our improved ED will have two dedicated mental health cubicles for adults, and a further one in the Children’s Emergency Department. We currently only have one area for assessing mental health patients.
This is part of a £5m investment in upgrading our ED, due to be completed by the end of the year.
Work is also getting underway on our new observation area. This area is for patients who need to be observed by our teams over a longer period of time.
Currently there are three observation beds, which does not allow enough space to separate male and female patients and maintain their dignity. This means our teams use this area for male or female patients at different times, depending on demand.
Our new observation area will have six trolley bed spaces and four chairs, allowing us to separate and safely observe male and female patients at the same time.
Providing a larger and better equipped Children’s Emergency Department will be one of the next phases our contractors start work on. The current Children’s ED is small, so this will provide more waiting room space and assessment cubicles, as well as the dedicated mental health space, and a resus area for children. Currently seriously ill children requiring emergency resuscitation are taken to our adult resus area.
While work is still underway in many areas, reaching the halfway point also means lots of improvements are now complete. We’ve doubled our resus area in the adult ED from three bays to six, introduced a new Rapid Access and First Treatment (RAFTing) area for assessing patients, increased the number of cubicles in our ‘majors’ area, where patients with more serious illnesses and injuries are seen, and reconfigured our ambulance entrance to improve access.
A new central staff base is the most recent area completed, opening this week. Previously, there were two separate areas for staff to access computer systems in the department. Now a new central hub is in place, situated to allow our staff to see all areas of the department, making it safer for our patients as well as a better working environment for our staff.
And more improvements are underway to continue to safeguard the wellbeing of our teams while at work in our hospitals. We’ll be introducing a new area for them to utilise during their breaks, including easily accessible outdoor space and a new changing facility with showers.
Matthew Trainer, our new Chief Executive who joined our Trust last week, said: “I’m pleased to see so many exciting changes happening in our ED at King George Hospital, and that the on-going wellbeing of our staff, as well as our patients, is at the forefront of these.
“Providing more space specifically for assessing patients with mental health issues is also really important, and I’m glad to see we are adding a dedicated space for young mental health patients also.”
Read more about how we’re investing in improving King George Hospital for our communities.