Emergency Department expansion to help speed up patient treatment
12 September 2018
Work is currently underway at Southend Hospital to build a small addition onto the Emergency Department (ED) that will help speed up assessment and treatment at peak periods and help reduce ambulance offload times.
It will be built at a cost of approximately £1.56 million, which
is being paid for by the bonus money given to the Trust for
meeting its financial target last year, which it is allowed to
spend on capital builds this year.
The two floor extension will include a dedicated Rapid
Assessment and Treatment (RAT) area, which will feature six
RAT bays, a small sub-waiting area and staff offices above it.
RAT typically involves the early assessment of patients arriving
via ambulance at ED. A team led by a senior doctor, can then start
investigations or treatment quickly.
This eliminates an initial junior medical assessment from the
patient pathway and means that the first doctor a patient sees is
one who is able to make a competent initial assessment. They define
a plan of care and make a faster decision as to whether the patient
requires admission to resus, majors, minors, to another speciality
team within the hospital, their GP, or are discharged home.
Nurses and junior doctors in the RAT team then implement the
first stages of the plan of care. The RAT team move round the bays
as a foursome and features a consultant or senior doctor,
registered nurse, emergency department assistant (EDA) and
Caroline Howard, Clinical Director for ED and Medicine,
explained how the building would improve the patient
experience: "We've been RATing for over four years, but having a
dedicated, purpose built area for it will mean patients come off
the ambulance quicker and get seen by a senior decision maker
sooner, all of which helps improve both patient safety and the
quality of our patient care.
"This small expansion will have a big impact. It will make us a
more efficient area and, as patients for admission are identified
earlier, they'll be able to leave the department much sooner."
The RAT bays will be built within the existing ED offices and
service parking area to the front of the existing building on
Prittlewell Chase. Once finished, emergency vehicle parking will be
relocated to the side of the existing building ensuring safer
entrance and exit for emergency vehicles.
The main construction is started in mid-August and will be split
into two phases. The RAT bays will completed and open in
December, with staff offices above finished in early 2019.
Paul Cavalier, Partner at Billericay based property and
construction consultancy Ingleton Wood, which acted as architects,
mechanical and electrical engineers, quantity surveyors and
structural engineers for the project, said: "As a local practice,
we're immensely proud of our long-standing relationship with
Southend Hospital. This latest collaboration is testament to
everyone's hard work.
"Our core business revolves around providing the best healthcare
and public sector buildings and we feel incredibly privileged to
have been able to showcase our expertise on such an important
project that will benefit patients for many years to come."
Image courtesy of Ingleton Wood