Busy hospital emergency department to be revamped amid increased pressure on NHS services
A busy hospital is to revamp part its emergency department to the tune of nearly £1m amid increased pressures on its services.
Like many hospitals across the country, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has had to deal with major increases in demand from people seeking emergency care.
It has particularly faced extra pressure during the winter season, with huge increases in numbers of patients arriving at A&E over the Christmas and New Year period as one of the worst flu seasons for years took hold.
Last year the NNUH was given £998,900 funding from a £20.74m government pot to help improve A&E performance at 27 hospitals across the country.
Later, the city hospital formally submitted a planning application to South Norfolk Council to join up the entrances for the emergency department and urgent care centre, creating a single point of entry for patients.
The council's development management committee has now approved the plans, which will see an increase in the number of consulting rooms at the early care centre and an expansion of the paediatric emergency department.
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NNUH chief operating officer Richard Parker said: 'This investment is fantastic news for our trust.
'These will enhance capacity for patients and should provide a greater patient experience, allowing those arriving to be directed to the most appropriate area.'
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Chief executive Mark Davies said: '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.'
The NNUH hopes to expand its workforce with dedicated, in-house trained advanced care practitioners.
The existing urgent care centre 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 emergency department with covered inside walkways.
The adult side will lead to three additional consulting rooms.
Additional ancillary accommodation will be provided.
It is hoped the changes will ensure the NNUH hits its target of admitting, transferring or discharging 95pc of patients within four hours.