Nearly £1m to be invested to ease pressure on Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s A&E

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: James Bass

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2008

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has received nearly £1m in funding aimed at easing pressure on emergency departments.

The £998,900 funding will be used to join up the entrances for the urgent care centre (UCC) and the emergency department (ED) to create a new, single point of entry for patients.

Development of the site will see an increase in the number of UCC consulting rooms, an expansion of paediatric emergency department facilities as well as expanded waiting and toilet facilities.

The UCC operates as part of the ED and, over the past 12 months, has built a GP workforce with a GP clinical lead sourced from local primary care.

Expanding the workforce with dedicated, in-house trained advanced care practitioners is planned for the coming year.

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The existing UCC sees an average of 40 patients each day and treats patients with minor illnesses that require urgent medical attention but are not immediately life-threatening.

The new space will provide clear separation of adults and paediatrics on arrival, and will join both parts of the ED with covered inside walkways.

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The adult side will lead directly to the GP streaming area and three additional consulting rooms, plus additional ancillary accommodation will be provided.

The £998,900 allocated to NNUH is part of £20.74m awarded to 27 hospitals across England.

The funding, which was announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, will also support wider plans set out by NHS England to improve A&E performance in England by 2018.

In particular, it will help hospitals hit the quality target of admitting, transferring or discharging 95pc of patients within four hours.

NNUH chief operating officer Richard Parker said: 'This investment is fantastic news for our Trust and will enable us to push ahead with plans to develop the emergency department.

'These will enhance capacity for patients and should provide a greater patient experience allowing those arriving to be directed to the most appropriate area.'

Chief executive Mark Davies added: 'This is great news for patients as well as staff and we are really looking forward to further enhancing the first-class facilities we already provide.'

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