Medway NHS Foundation Trust has reached yet another important milestone as it moves forward with exciting plans to redevelop its Emergency Department for the people of Medway & Swale.
A new waiting area for patients in the majors unit has been opened – a significant part of the £13.4 million plans to redevelop the Emergency Department. Medway Maritime Hospital has also introduced a number of measures to help improve patient care and experience.
The Trust is currently at the forefront of bold plans to redevelop the Majors and Resuscitation areas of the department to help it better cope with the modern day pressures of an ever-increasing population. The Emergency Department was built to cope with 45,000 people, but treated and cared for more than 100,000 patients last year alone.
The opening of the new waiting room will ensure that any patients, who are assessed as needing treatment in the majors unit, will now be situated in an area, where they can be closely monitored by doctors and nurses, should their condition change or worsen.
The recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report highlighted there was a clear requirement for Emergency Department staff to receive further training to help improve the clinical assessment and overall experience a patient has when they arrive at Medway Hospital.
In response to this, the Emergency Department has introduced a Learning and Development Board, which sits monthly and oversees all training for doctors and nurses.
The employment of a Consultant Nurse has resulted in the Emergency Department being able to deliver its own University accredited educational programmes. This will help ensure nurses and doctors are better equipped to deliver a thorough, compassionate and personalised treatment plan for each patient on arrival at Medway Hospital.
As part of the revised initial clinical assessment, patients will now be seen by a senior clinician, who will make an informed decision on what the most suitable treatment and discharge plan is.
The Emergency Department has recently made a number of key appointments to its clinical leadership team, including the appointment of a Consultant Nurse/Educationalist; Senior Matron and General Manager.
Margaret Dalziel, Director of Clinical Operations at Medway NHS Foundation Trust said: “The opening of the new waiting area is another significant milestone in our plans to redevelop and modernise the Emergency Department for patients.
“We’re pleased about the changes we’ve introduced to the initial clinical assessment that patients will now receive when they arrive. They will go a long way to help make the experience that bit more pleasant for our patients. It will also ensure they have the right treatment and discharge plan in place from the outset.
“We’re also delighted to have welcomed on board some really outstanding clinical staff – all of whom have invaluable experience in the field of emergency care. This will stand us and our patients in good stead, as we start to deliver the next stages of the redevelopment programme.”
Dr Chris Markwick of Medway Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the changes at the hospital, and look forward to seeing the positive impact this may have for patients that need to visit the department for serious injury or illnesses, and for the dedicated staff working in the Emergency Department.
“People can support the Emergency Department team by continuing to make use of other urgent care services when their condition is not serious or life-threatening; such as the Walk-in centre in Gillingham and minor injuries units in Sittingbourne, Sheppey and Gravesend. Information and advice on the best place to go for treatment is also accessible through the Health Help Now smartphone app, or by calling 111.”
The Emergency Department redevelopment programme has already witnessed the opening of a new minors unit, as well as a complete refurbishment of the Children’s Emergency Department.