Emergency care at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has received a £2,785,000 boost from the Government.
Welcoming the new funding, Director of Operations at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Berenice Groves, said the cash would support work being done to create an Emergency Village and new Critical Care programme to develop a world class service for patients across the Fylde coast.
“This money will support us in bringing forward elements of the Emergency Village development, allowing us to create more space and a new clinical area to improve patient experience,” explained Berenice.
Work can now begin on creating a minor injury unit which will free up more cubical space in the main Emergency Department. This will involve some restructuring and building work in the hospital’s A&E department and Urgent Care Unit and it is hoped this project will be completed by Christmas.
“As we get ready for winter we need to ensure patients feel confident about accessing health care and this means ensuring patients receive appropriate help in a safe and suitable setting.
“To help alleviate some of the pressures on our A&E services, Blackpool will become one of the first areas in the North West to roll out the new nation-wide NHS111 First system which will allow patients to be given appointment times for health care ensuring they are seen and treated quickly and appropriately in the most suitable setting.
“If patients are directed to our Emergency Department this funding will allow us to ensure strict social distancing measures by increasing the waiting area and ensuring more space to accommodate patient care.”
Work on the planned £13m Emergency Village was earmarked to start in 2023, but this funding will allow the Trust to bring the start date forward to help with winter pressures and expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles to reduce overcrowding and improve infection control measures.
“For us to offer first-class health services, it is vital patients help us by accessing health care in the most appropriate way,” Berenice added.
“Our A&E department must be kept free for emergency treatment only so that we can provide the best possible care. With strict social distancing measures in place health care will be more challenging and we ask the community to use the NHS111 system to ensure they are directed to the right service for their needs.”
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of the Trust said: “Throughout the pandemic, the NHS has been here for you and emergency departments have remained open. If you do have to go to hospital, please be assured that it is as safe as possible – NHS staff are following strict social distancing and hygiene measures to allow people to access care safely. Please do not hesitate to access emergency treatment if you need it.
“Winter is always a busy time, and with the added pressures of COVID-19, this funding will help us to continue to deliver safe and quality care in this new normal and meet the future needs of people in our area.”
The cash allocated to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals is part of a share of £300 million allocated across the country to upgrade facilities ahead of winter.
You can follow the progress of the Emergency Village and Critical Care development on this web page plus Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BTHEmergencyVillage and Twitter: @BTH_E_Village.
Plans progress in Blackpool Emergency Village and Critical Care development
Plans to enhance and expand emergency and critical care departments in Blackpool have been gathering pace, with further progress in a number of key areas.
Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Emergency Village development will focus on creating a better Emergency Department together with the Critical Care wards, by upgrading facilities and adding capacity, enhancing patient experience across the Fylde coast.
Following extensive work consulting with staff, patient panels and external agencies, the project’s programme board have now finalised plans ahead of the business case submission for the capital funding from NHS Improvement and are ready to appoint a third party contractor for construction.
Emergency Village Clinical Lead for the Emergency Department, Dr Adeline Israel, said: “I am excited and pleased about the progress being made.
“Currently, our exceptional staff work under extremely challenging conditions of constrained space, shortage of manpower and high influx of patients with a wide range of needs.
“The Emergency Village can potentially close the gap on the resources by providing the right space and design, robust processes and pathways and attract manpower by offering a training environment that will be second to none.
“This, combined with education of the public to visit ED only during a medical emergency, will go a long way to make it a centre of excellence.
“The ED is considered as the A&E (Anything and Everything) department with high-user demands. Staff are stretched to a large extent already trying to meet these demands while even tolerating abuse and misbehaviour at times. A greater appreciation of their dedicated work is required for harmonious functioning of this pressurised, vulnerable and sensitive area.
“The Emergency village offers the hope of a much better environment for the staff to enhance patient experience and deliver high quality of care with improved outcomes. This hope continues to drive and motivate us. Therefore, I am encouraged to strive towards making this vision a reality soon.”
Plans will see a new Critical Care building constructed just behind the current Emergency Department/Urgent Care Centre. The current High Dependency Unit and Intensive Care units will move from their current locations, freeing up room for the Emergency Department to expand.
Emergency Village Clinical Lead for Critical Care, Dr Rob Thompson, said: “We are really excited that we can start to visualise the new unit and the benefits to both staff and patients.
“The new unit will include rehabilitation areas, a space fit for purpose. The new patient rooms will also be more appropriate for the critical care environment.”
The Trust is set to receive close to £13m to develop an ‘Emergency Village’ as part of a national fund to upgrade NHS Services in England, subject to successful approval of the full business case.
Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust is also set to receive £8.2m to improve facilities and ensure that mental health patients on the Fylde coast are receiving care in the right place to support their needs.
A 3D ‘fly through’ of the proposed new Critical Care unit can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obVBOCJmxzE
The Emergency Department’s fly throughs will be released over the next few weeks.
The Clinically Led Workforce and Activity Redesign (CLeAR) programme has also been working to establish the needs of the patient and link current activity to the workforce by using advanced analytics in the Emergency Department, and may help influence staffing decisions and new models of care.
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