Friday, 7 September 2012
Work has begun on a brand new era for emergency treatment at a North Wales Hospital.
Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Emergency Department (ED) staff joined the construction team to mark together the start of building work their new home at the hospital.
The development is expected to be completed late summer 2013. The current Emergency Department will remain open until it is appropriate to hand over to the new site.
The new area at the rear of the hospital allows an expansion of floor space and stronger connections with crucial support services. It will be closer to the emergency theatre and to the Intensive Care Unit (part of critical care).
An increase in size over the existing site means GP Out of Hours service, the main ED, the medical assessment unit and the surgical assessment can come together under one roof.
The GP Out of Hours service in the ED will allow patients to be seen by the most appropriate doctor for an illness or injury. The new X ray suite in the ED will mean that patients can have their X ray more quickly, without having to go to the main X ray department
It will also house a large Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) and a larger Major Injury or Illness area containing a resuscitation room with capacity for five patients facing life threatening illnesses or injury at one time.
Ambulances will be driven round to the back of the hospital, where they will have a specially designed unloading area which allows the ambulance to be backed up to a separate ED entrance and patients to be admitted to either the resuscitation room
There are also plans for four operating theatres to be built above the ED to link with the current main operating theatre department.
Patient capacity will be expanded thanks to more cubicles and each will be more spacious than existing ones.
There will be a larger rapid assessment unit where patients may be sent for an opinion by their GP and a decision taken by a consultant on whether or not they need to be admitted.
Patients will be called into a triage consulting room where they will be seen quickly and either treated there and then, or asked to go for a further investigation or to move into the Minors or Majors rooms.
A special children’s’ emergency department has been designed by ED staff, having a separate waiting area and treatment area.
Eileen Williams, Clinical Consultant for the Glan Clwyd Project explained: “People used to know the ED better from its old names, ‘Casualty’ or ‘Accident and Emergency (A&E)’. These names reflected the fact that most people who came there, came as a result of an accident or an injury.
“As roads and cars have become safer, and there are better standards of Health and Safety in the workplaces, and as the population becomes older, the people who come to hospital as an emergency have also changed. Although people still come as a result of accidents, nowadays the ED is the place where people come with relapses of chronic illnesses, or sudden severe illnesses. Many of our emergency patients are very old, and have lots of other problems, which can be medical or social.
“The new ED will be a place where all those problems can be tackled at once. We decided that if we brought all the hospital emergency specialties together, then patients would be able to be quickly seen by any doctor from any emergency specialty that they needed.”