Pedestrian access to A&E has changed! Turn right not left.
The £2.8m project to expand the capacity of the Emergency Department (A&E) at Colchester General Hospital and to improve patient flows began in July 2013 and was completed in May 2014. It included a new reception, waiting and triage area, doubling the number of resuscitation bays from three to six, a new children's unit and building an expanded majors area in what had previously been a courtyard.
Read the story as it developed below.
The proposed reconfiguration of Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) takes place on Saturday 5 April.
The Trust has agreed to invest almost £1.5m on recruiting an additional 31 nurses. Eight new posts will be created for paediatric nurses, 10 new posts on the Stroke Unit and the same number in the Emergency Department (ED - or A&E as it is traditionally known).
The refurbished Emergency Department is developing apace and the new children's A&E is proving invaluable. Staff and builders are doing a fantastic job in ensuring the service continues despite the works around them. The standard of 95% of patients being seen, treated or discharged within four hours is very important as standards are about meeting patient experience expectations and complying with patient safety issues. Since 26 January the Trust has achieved the 95% waiting time standard for four weeks out of five, narrowly missing it for one week (94.8%). Ours is not a target-driven organisation, but one that puts the patient at the centre.
Today, the Emergency Department's new paediatric area started accepting young patients. Later this week, the new majors area in the courtyard will open.
Changes are also planned to the Emergency Assessment Unit's (EAU) layout to improve patient flow. More in November's Mainstream magazine.
Work on the modifications to the ED is progressing at pace.
The new reception and waiting area came into use in early September, and the new triage area is being used to host the temporary minor treatments service which has had to move to make way for the development of the new ambulance entrance, which was brought into use on 24 September.
Work in the courtyard, which will eventually give us the extension to Majors, is progressing well. The main structure is in place and this week the floor screeds will be poured. We will then see the internal fit out of the area start at pace. The timetable is tough but we are planning to have this area operational by the end of November 2013.
Elsewhere in the department, now that we have the new ambulance entrance route and have moved the triage, reception and waiting rooms, the contractors are now getting on with building the new children's area. Again this will be handed over to the Trust by the end of November.
Next we will start work in the area where the old minor cubicles are and the plaster room to prepare the space to form part of the new resuscitation area. We are still working on the plans to relocate resus for a period into the new enlarged majors while we complete the resus area.
Once we have the new children area open, the old children's clinical area will be used to support minors and we can get on with clearing the rest of the old waiting room and old children's waiting area to form the new minors early in the New Year.
There are also a lot of smaller areas of work, including in the existing majors bays and in non-patient areas, that will need to be completed, but we are still working towards completion of all the clinical areas by the end of February 2014, with some work in supporting areas thereafter. We want to have everything complete by the end of March 2014.
Above: View from Gainsborough Wing of the new modular building
The Trust opened the new modular building on 10 September. It houses the A&E reception, waiting area and triage suite. Pedestrian access to A&E is now via this new building.
In June 2013, the Board of Directors agreed a major injection of capital to increase the capacity and improve patient pathways in all parts of the Emergency Department. Detailed plans were agreed with the department to be implemented by early 2014.
The number of resuscitation bays will be doubled to six; majors bays will increase from 13 to 20; minors bays from five to 12 and children's bays from three to five.
The £2.2m programme of works is being extended with the infilling of a courtyard to provide a platform for a future potential expansion of the theatre block or the critical care facilities. Work is being carried out during the day and also at night when materials and waste are being moved into and out of the courtyard with minimal impact on the public.
Below: photos of the project from start of the project to the present day.
Any enquiries about the project should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org