A&E Investment For Under Fire Hospital

The A&E Department At Medway Maritime Hospital Will Receive Substantial Backing

28.01.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A new £5 million redevelopment of Medway Maritime Hospital's A&E department has been agreed, according to media reports.

According to the BBC, executives at the facility have been told they must improve standards and have been given backing by the Department of Health to reach this goal.

In 2013, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, was put into special measures after inspections showed patients were not receiving the expected standards of care. A poorly run A&E unit was at the heart of this issue.

Bosses at the trust have told locals that the hospital will face minimal disruption and that construction work will not affect waiting times to a significant degree.

Mark Devlin, chief executive of the Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have known for some time that our emergency department facilities are just not up to the job, despite the excellent work of staff.

"It was designed in the days when up to 50,000 patients a year came through the doors for accident and emergency treatment. Now it is around 90,000 patients a year and rising."

The Medway area of Kent has seen a substantial population rise in recent years, but other areas have faced similar challenges and coped well - so Department of Health officials expect improvements to be made quickly.

One of the biggest problems with Medway Maritime Hospital's A&E unit, according to Mr Devlin, is its "unsuitable layout" - which causes problems for people with urgent care needs.

Work on the building will also include a new acute assessment unit, which has been put in place to help doctors more effectively deal with trauma patients.

Medway Maritime Hospital is not the only facility to have been under fire in recent weeks. A number of sites have been criticised by secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt for not meeting winter waiting time targets set by the government.

The coalition wants 95 per cent of people attending hospitals to be seen within four hours, but recent figures have been around the 93 per cent mark.

Expert Opinion
A&E is often the first port of call for patients with injuries and illness and the speed and quality of this initial treatment can make such a difference to the long term recovery process.

“It is crucial to patient safety that all A&E departments are operating at the highest standards of care and are appropriately resourced to deal with the issues they face in the appropriate time frame.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner