Sunderland improving the flow in emergency department

Work is underway to build new emergency department at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Work is progressing well on the first phase of major improvements for Sunderland Royal Hospital's ageing Emergency Department.

The development aims to assist in alleviating pressure on the department, reducing waiting times and improving efficiency.

The design, from P+HS Architects, considers progressive patient flows and LEAN working methodologies for clinical staff and the new scheme will provide separate paediatric and adult facilities. Both services will offer dedicated resuscitation, high acuity, assessment rooms, see-and-manage areas, a bereavement suite, and family waiting area. In addition, the scheme includes GP assessment, an integrated admissions unit, special ambulatory assessment, and a diagnostics suite attached to the adult department. A dedicated lift gives direct access from the emergency department to an existing six-storey ward block for those patients who need to be admitted.

The new scheme sees the refurbishment of the existing department and a new multi-storey extension added to the front of the building with bridge links between existing buildings. Carefully-phased work will minimise disruption to services and will focus initially on the refurbishment of existing wards with an extension to the front of the building to provide the new paediatric emergency department entrance.

Phase 2 will include the refurbishment of the existing A&E department to form the new adult emergency department including a new three-storey extension to the front of the building. During this period of the works the Phase 1 refurbished area will be utilised as the temporary emergency department and the third and final phase will see further works within Phase 1 area converting the temporary department into the permanent paediatric emergency department and assessment suite. The scheme is being constructed by Willmott Dixon.

Once complete, the adult and children’s emergency department will be completely separate. To cater for the increase in patients, staff numbers will also be boosted.

A spokesman for City Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The new emergency department at Sunderland Royal will be one of the most-advanced units in the region offering patients the highest quality of emergency department technology and staffing. The new unit will meet the demands of ever-increasing patient numbers and the pressures of the growing elderly population.”

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P+HS Architects (more information, website)

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