Torbay Hospital’s new Ambulatory Unit to improve urgent and emergency care
Published: 21 December 2018
Torbay Hospital has now completed the first stage of work to make key improvements to its urgent and emergency care facilities. Building and renovation work began at the end of September to increase the waiting area spaces for patients, and to expand the Hospital’s ambulatory capacity – that is, treatment for people who need medical care but not an overnight hospital stay.
The new Ambulatory Unit, located on Level 2 Outpatients was officially opened on Wednesday 19 December by Chief Executive, Liz Davenport (pictured with some of the members of the project team).
Dr Catherine Blakemore, Consultant Cardiologist and Ambulatory Care Lead, has provided the clinical leadership for the project. “The Ambulatory Unit is a vital facet of our emergency care offering. We use it to assess and treat patients who arrive in our busy Emergency Department who need to be reviewed urgently by a hospital specialist, but may not need to be admitted. The Unit (which we previously called the ‘Acute Medical Unit’) had become increasingly popular and as a result had got overcrowded, and therefore did not provide the best experience for our patients and staff.
“The building renovations have given us a larger patient waiting area, which is now situated away from the busy clinical area. We also have an extra clinic room and more treatment bays, so enabling us to assess and treat more patients at any one time, hopefully decreasing waiting times and eventually permitting greater numbers of people to use the department if needed. The four curtained bays each have recliners which will help patients to feel more comfortable while receiving treatments such as blood transfusions and intravenous antibiotics, while ensuring that our clinical assessment rooms remain free to rapidly assess other patients in the meantime.”
Liz Davenport added: “I want to extend my thanks to the League of Friends, Outpatient Pharmacy and the Outpatient services, all of whom agreed to relocate parts of their services in order to make room for the new Unit. They worked with Dr Blakemore, Dr Alice Miller and Susan Martin (Quality Improvement) to realise the vision for the Unit and, with their commitment and support, we have been able to make significant improvements for both patients and our staff. We now have a spacious, separate patient waiting area; four clinical assessment cubicles; and an extra treatment room. The larger doctor’s office is also now able to support more specialties which will increase the effectiveness of the Unit.
“I also want to say thank you to the Quality Improvement led project team including Estates, Procurement and the building team who have worked tirelessly to ensure the new Unit was up and running before the end of December. I know deadlines have been extremely tight and everyone really stepped up to the challenge! Well done and a big thank you to you all.”
Geoff Allen, Estates and Facilities Management Lead for the project noted: ”Marks Builders, our main contractor and DD Electrical, our electrical subcontractors, have done a great job, as well as SJB Signs who produced the new signage in under a week enabling us to open the Unit on time. They have all been outstanding in working with the staff. Not only have they delivered the project to such a tight timescale but they have also undertaken major works whilst the Unit was in use.”
Work began on the new Unit at the end of September after the Trust received confirmation it was to receive £340,000 funding from Department of Health to improve urgent and emergency care facilities in readiness for Winter. The project has cost £240,000 with the balance of funds being used to buy more patient trolleys and patient monitors in the Emergency Department, as well as to fund some improvements in the resuscitation area. All equipment has been ordered, and improvements to the resuscitation area have been scheduled in.