A NEW state of the art accident and emergency department could be on the cards for Ipswich Hospital, the Evening Star can reveal today.It has yet to be approved but the busy department could be moved to the planned Garrett Anderson centre, part of a £24million revamp at the Heath Road site.
A NEW state of the art accident and emergency department could be on the cards for Ipswich Hospital, the Evening Star can reveal today.
It has yet to be approved but the busy department could be moved to the planned Garrett Anderson centre, part of a £24million revamp at the Heath Road site.
The new A+E would have 17 treatment rooms and a dedicated area to the treatment of children and would add another £1million to the development costs.
There would also be two different entrances – one for seriously ill people brought in by emergency ambulance or the Air ambulance and another entrance for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses.
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Buses would also be able to pull up outside the centre making access easier.
If given the go-ahead by the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust board and the east Suffolk's three Primary Care Trusts, the move could hold up the opening of the Garrett Anderson centre to July 2007.
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It was originally hoped that the four floor centre which will provide more day surgery, planned treatment and diagnostic areas would be up and running by 2006.
The accident and emergency department will go in the ground floor of the new centre where it was originally planned to have outpatient clinics – if the proposal is given the go-ahead the outpatient clinics will be set up in the old A+E department.
Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital said that the new department will have 17 treatment rooms, two x-ray rooms and a plaster room.
She said: "Because we are seeing more people and the people we are seeing are more poorly now we have to have a bigger department, not just for now but for the future."
Ms Rowsell said that a few years ago just five people in one year were brought in by air ambulance. That figure has now increased by 800 per cent to 45.
Changes are already being made within the current accident and emergency department to the way patients are seen and the hospital is achieving above Government targets of seeing and treating 90 per cent of patients within four hours.
Nationwide there is a shortage of nursing staff and Ipswich Hospital recently had a four per cent vacancy rate.
However Ms Rowsell said that the new unit would not necessarily require more staff – just a change of how it works.
She said: "At the moment everyone comes in through one door and is seen in order of clinical priority.
"(In the new unit) If you come in through the minor injuries staff will quickly categorise you."
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