James Paget hospital A&E upgrade storms ahead - with work well under way
- Credit: Archant
The James Paget is to be rebuilt as part of a multi-billion pound government scheme - with a separate project to improve the A&E department already well underway.
The Gorleston-based hospital, which serves Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Waveney, is one of six schemes which will see building work start immediately with seed funding for a further 34 hospitals to be “forthcoming” to help those projects develop.
Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed funding for “40 new hospitals across England” last October with a further eight schemes to be invited to bid for future funding.
Following the announcement, Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, expressed his delight that the James Paget University Hospital is to receive government funding for a large programme of upgrade work.
He said the rebuild will ensure local residents have a fully modern, accessible hospital fit for the 21st century, while continuing to provide the excellent service they have come to expect from the James Paget.
Mr Lewis said: “I have long-championed the James Paget Hospital and backed calls for further investment.
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“The announcement is fantastic news for the James Paget hospital and the people of Great Yarmouth.
“The rebuild will ensure a state of the art hospital for the local area, modernising the existing site for staff and patients alike and I am excited to see the works get under way.
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“The James Paget has long history of serving the Borough of Great Yarmouth and this investment will ensure that it will be able to continue its excellent work for many years to come.”
The government said the package is worth £3.7 billion, with trusts that received seed funding now all fully funded to deliver 25 hospitals.
Mr Johnson said: “The dedication and tireless efforts of our nurses, doctors and all healthcare workers have kept the NHS open throughout this pandemic.
“But no matter what this virus throws at us we are determined to build back better and deliver the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.
“From Morpeth to Milton Keynes, we are building 40 new hospitals across England to level up our NHS so more people have top-class healthcare services in their local area.”
Though the business case behind the full-scale rebuild is currently being put together, and the new hospital is expected to be operational after 2030, a £2.2m project to expand the emergency department at the hospital is already steaming ahead.
It is hoped the development will meet demand for treatment as it increases year on year - especially in the winter.
Chief operating officer Joanne Segasby said the upgrade would "benefit both patients and staff".
She said: "Once this phase of work is completed, it will provide a far more modern, spacious, comfortable and safe environment for our patients at a time of year when we are always at our busiest.
“This is just the first phase of our Emergency Department expansion plans, with more work scheduled in 2021/22, which will include enhancing areas where children are assessed and treated.”
The new emergency department, when complete, will include:
• an expansion in the number of cubicles - from 11 to 14 – for the assessment and treatment of patients attending with more serious conditions,
• a larger waiting room, giving patients a more comfortable environment with space for social distancing,
• more space for patient ‘triage’,
• a separate children’s waiting room,
As of March 2021, the children's waiting room and cubicle expansion had already been completed - and according to schedule.
Now, the hospital is putting its efforts into the next "phase" of development: refurbishing the existing adult waiting room and reception area and constructing a new main entrance to the department.
On March 29, the JPH announced improvements had begun at the front of the hospital, with construction work underway to replace the main entrance doors and "reconfigure the foyer area".
The hospital said: "If you are attending the hospital over the next three weeks while the work is carried out, we would ask that you follow any signage or directions from staff as the front entrance is temporarily moved a couple of metres to the left, through the new Emergency Department doors.
"You will still be able to access the hospital via the front of the building, as usual, and there will be staff available to guide you should you need assistance."