A NEW era in emergency care and treatment dawns at Glan Clwyd Hospital tomorrow (Thursday), when the newly developed A&E opens its doors to ambulance traffic and walk-in patients.
The Emergency quadrant (EQ), which has been built to ensure a better flow of patients, is part of the hospital’s £89.9m development and is 75 per cent bigger than the previous A&E department.
The building features a separate entrance for ambulances and nine bays for emergency vehicles. It houses a number of speciality services such the emergency department, GP out-of-hours, an acute medical unit, a clinical decision unit, an x-ray suite and a surgical assessment unit.
Harry Potter artist Jonny Duddle, has already breathed life into the new paediatrics area (also housed in the new EQ) by conjuring up a series of impressive sea faring wall arts.
The Rhyl Journal was given an exclusive first look inside the new facility, which is situated at the back of the hospital
Ellen Greer, site operations manager, explained staff and patients and those that support patients, had contributed to the new build right from the beginning of the design process to the finished article.
“It has been developed with team work, you can feel people’s pride,” she said.
“The current A&E is from the 1980s. Staff have done the best they can, but this is something modern.
“The hospital has a fantastic future, it’s bright - bright blue, bright orange, bright green,” Ms Greer expressed, making reference to the building which has been finished with coloured panels.
Attention to detail has been an essential part of the EQ’s design.
Controlled taps have been installed (operated by a knee lever), there is a touch sensitive drug-dispensing system, a weighbridge features for patients arriving via the ambulance entrance and where possible walls have been put up instead of curtains to provide patients with dignity.
Carole Price-Jones, matron for the emergency department, described the new build as
“new and fresh”.
“I can already feel a difference in the environment,” she said.
“There has been a huge focus on supporting the flow of patients - it is all about the flow.”
Dr Emma Hosking, consultant anaesthetist and clinical lead on the project, said that the new build had been designed to look after the incredibly sick, but as the “vast majority” of patients weren’t in need of immediate resuscitation, it had also been set up to give expert and multidisplinary care.
“That is what patients can have now,” Mrs Hosking confirmed.
“The ‘asses to admit’ is absolutely fundamental to the new design. Tomorrow will be a new beginning, not just for the department but the hospital as a whole.
Mrs Hosking explained that additional staff will be working on Thursday in both the new EQ and the old A&E to ensure a smooth transfer goes ahead.
“Patients will be moved across on an individual basis and after a thorough assessment, fundamentally all the plans are in place.” she added.
"We do want to stress our Choose Well message. If people come here with a very very minor problem and it is a busy day, they are going to have to wait a long time. That is not going to change. We don't want them to come here unless they absolutely have to - it is striving for that balance."