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Two new vital units added to Southend University Hospital’s emergency department (A&E)

16 March 2015

Health Care

A new self-contained area for children attending the hospital’s emergency department (A&E) for treatment has now opened as well as a new clinical decision unit (CDU) which will be used to review adult emergency patients in a less clinically acute area with more attention to surroundings and patient comfort.

The Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) has four dedicated paediatric bays with a separate triage room, providing a specialist area for children to be cared for in line with Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health best practice.

Lucy Russell, senior sister paediatrics, who will be running the department, said: "The PED means children can be cared for by the appropriate people at all times. It maintains safety as well and children are seen very quickly in an appropriate environment. 

"We will deal with everything from minor injuries such as a cut to the head to acutely unwell conditions such as breathing problems. The PED also means we can build a better relationship with Neptune Ward because we will be transferring directly from here.

"It exciting really and I'm hoping it's a win-win all round: the children will be at ease and have toys to play with; the parents are happy and the nurses and doctors are happy as it will take pressure off the main A&E department."

Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)

The CDU will be used to review emergency adult patients in a less clinically acute area with more attention to surroundings and patient comfort.

This is used particularly for patients who are most likely to go home but may need an extended length of stay for more than 4 hours to complete their treatment or investigations.

This enables the patient to be discharged safely without the need for formal admission to a ward whilst also ensuring the treatment and after care have been sorted thoroughly.

The Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU) within the emergency department is now open daily between 10am and 10pm. The CDU is located in the former AMU ward and can be entered via the corridor that leads to the emergency department waiting room.

IMAGE: Senior Sister Lucy Russell Paediatrics in the new Paediatric Emergency Department (PED).