Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital opens second emergency department
PUBLISHED: 12:22 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 08 April 2020
A second emergency department has been opened at Norfolk’s largest hospital in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Arthur South Day Procedure Unit (DPU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been turned into an extra facility to treat patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.
The existing emergency department area will be for non-Covid-19 related illnesses and injuries.
Patients will be directed to the appropriate area for their condition at the DPU entrance.
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The hospital is being split into ‘Yellow’ zoned areas for patients with positive and suspected Covid-19 symptoms, with ‘Green’ zoned areas in parts of the hospital treating patients without the virus.
Chris Cobb, NNUH chief operating officer, said: “As we move towards the peak of this outbreak, we have created Yellow and Green zoned emergency departments to establish clear and separate areas of the hospital for patients who potentially need hospital admission for coronavirus symptoms.
“Thanks to the hard work of the ED and surgical division teams this expansion of our emergency care capacity will be in place prior to the peak of the infection.”
The move will also see some changes to the outpatients side of the hospital with the rerouting of buses and access to public vehicles will be restricted to allow emergency ambulances to park outside and to bring patients through the DPU entrance.
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Further changes to the hospital site have begun with the start of work on a 10-bed isolation unit to support the hospital trust’s management of Covid-19.
It is anticipated that the new construction will open to its first patients this summer, which will be located where the Level 1 East Atrium drop-off area is.
As a result the drop-off area outside of the East Atrium, Level 1 (Car Park L) will be permanently closed to all vehicles. However a pedestrian entrance will be maintained
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has already seen the hospital announce that all non-urgent surgery would be suspended from April 15 for at least three months, with other procedures likely to be rescheduled. This is to allow staff to receive training and adapt to other areas.
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