Torbay and South Devon patients to benefit from improved hospital emergency department
Published: 24 September 2020
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust will receive £9m Government funding, part of £29.7 allocated to five Trusts in the South West, to expand and upgrade its Emergency Department (ED).
The funding ensures the EDs have the physical space to treat patients, manage patient flow and improve infection control said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
As part of Torbay and South Devon’s long-term planning, investment in the future of the health and care of local communities is a priority and begins with improving urgent and emergency services.
The Trust welcomes the latest capital funding which is needed to create a re-designed ED to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
Torbay and South Devon had already received funding for an upgrade, extension and reconfiguration of the Emergency Department which has been constrained by aging buildings and the need to response to COVID-19.
Work begins this winter on a re-designed ED which will improve patient and staff experience for the foreseeable future. This will provide more space and treatment cubicles to maintain separation of COVID-19 and non-Covid-19 patients and maintain social distancing of staff and patients to avoid spreading infection.
Key to this will be the creation of a separate two storey modular building close to ED – a Medical Receiving Unit (MRU). This will increase ED capacity by diverting medical patients away from ED to other special units, enabling them to be assessed and treated and provided with same-day emergency care and minimal delay.
Ian Currie, Medical Director with Torbay and South Devon said: “The changes to ED and development of MRU will enable us to provide modern and safe urgent and emergency care for our patients.
“Working in conjunction with the Surgical Assessment Unit which opened in June, the changes within the ED will allow safe and appropriate distancing of emergency patients presenting to Torbay Hospital.
“The MRU and new-look ED will allow the integration of medical assessment, outpatient medical care, same-day emergency care and acute frailty assessment for older and frail people, so the hospital provides a COVID-19 safe environment and minimises the risk of transmission.
“The Surgical Assessment Unit will continue to offer urgent assessment and same-day emergency care for our surgical patients. This will enable integrated, clinically-focused and timely urgent and emergency care for our population.”
Philippa Slinger, lead chief executive for the NHS in Devon, added: “We welcome this investment in Devon’s NHS, which will bring about enhanced facilities for emergency care in two of the county’s main hospitals.”
The re-configured ED will include:
- A larger waiting area
- Four triage rooms from which patients will be referred to alternative services as soon as possible
- A single reception area for outpatients or walk-in patients and those arriving by ambulance
- A second nurse base to allow more staff to treat patients
- A new outpatient unit with bays, side rooms and curtained bays with solid partitions to improve isolation of patients
- An extended paediatric care unit with six patient bays with solid walls and curtained fronts to improve isolation of patients and a larger waiting area to meet social distancing needs
- Improved staff rest, office and training areas to allow social distancing