This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 03/12/2018.
First pictures from inside Croydon University Hospital’s brand new A&E department
Doctors and nurses have helped design the state-of-the-art department.
The long-awaited department opened on Sunday (December 2), more than 18 months after it was initially due to open.
The pioneering A&E department was created with expert input from Croydon’s doctors and nurses in order to have “the best environment in which to care for patients” and will most likely serve the local area for decades.
Built to withstand the increasing demand, as A&E departments across the country are closed and downgraded, the new department is 30% larger than the old department, which was often criticised for being inadequate to serve the area.
The design of the new department has been adapted to suit patients with dementia, while treatment areas now have doors, rather than the curtained off bays seen in other A&E departments.
There are 14 specialist pediatric beds in the new wing, with separate waiting areas for children below 14 as well as another for adolescents.
It even has a dedicated Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS), along with two mental health liaison rooms have been built where nurses can assess people.
Built to suit the changing methods of front line care in the NHS, there is an Urgent Treatment Centre for people with minor ailments, allowing A&E staff to focus on the most severe patients.
The resuscitation area in the department has been open for a year and a half, being used while the rest of the department remained under construction.
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust hopes the brand new department will work well alongside the three GP hubs, at Edridge Road, New Addington and Purley – where people can get same-day doctor’s appointments.
In fact, the Trust has specifically asked Croydon residents to only attend the A&E if it is necessary, and to explore alternative ways to access expert care, such as your GP.
Construction had been due to be completed in May 2017 but doors opened on December 2, 2018. The delay has been blamed on problems with contractors, asbestos and water pipes.
The total expenditure on the new department is around £21 million.
Dr Kathryn Channing, lead Emergency Care consultant at CHS said: “We are incredibly proud of what we have built here at Croydon. The new department means our community have access to some of the best emergency care facilities in London.
“Throughout this project we have all worked closely with the designers and construction team to ensure that the department offers exactly the right environment in which to care for our local community now and for many years to come.”
Matthew Kershaw, chief executive, said the opening was a “great day for the Trust, local community and staff”. He also praised staff for working tireless in the temporary facilities that were used during construction.
He said: “As a Trust, we always put our patients needs first and that has led to the creation of this wonderful new Emergency Department which has been designed to ensure we can offer the best care and facilities to local people.
It was also revealed last week that rooms at Croydon’s hospitals exceeded their safe capacity between July and September, according to NHS England.
NHS data for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, which runs Croydon University Hospital and Purley War Memorial Hospital, shows that, on average, 468 out of 514 beds were occupied during the period.
That is a rate of 91%, above the threshold of 85% when patient safety is considered to be compromised.