We’ve previously highlighted the strain put under healthcare providers come winter time, and in preparation of the season, hospitals in Devon have been given a cash injection of £3.7 million to ease the winter chaos.
The aim of the money is to help ease winter pressures within four acute hospitals within the county, in an attempt to improve care for patients and combat the increase in need during the colder months.
Some key improvements will include upgrading parts of the emergency department, improving the flow of patients through the hospital, and crucially providing increased bed capacity.
Increased patient numbers has led to cramped facilities and sometimes overcrowding. For example, the emergency department at Derriford was designed for up to 240 patients attending daily. However, over the last 12 months the average attendance has risen to 278 people with some days reaching 300. Bed occupancy also peaked at almost 97% on New Year’s Eve 2017, compared with 80% in the preceding week.
The money they receive from the government will be put towards expanding the paediatric area, including a larger waiting area for families and increasing the consultation rooms from three to five, and an improved resuscitation unit. There are also long term plans to create a brand new, fit-for-purpose urgent and emergency care department.
In the last 12 months, the Devon STP (sustainability and transformation partnership) has attracted £30 million of national funding dedicated to enhancing urgent and emergency care services. This includes creating a designated mental health facility at Plymouth A&E and creating four new interventional radiology theatres, and an upgraded A&E department at Torbay Hospital.
These upgrades will no doubt improve patient care, providing patients and staff with superior facilities. However, there are various concerns that need to be addressed when doing any kind of refurbishments within the healthcare sector as hospitals can rarely be closed throughout the duration of works, meaning staff and patients are often in close proximity.
These concerns include dealing with the threat of aspergillus, minimising noise disruption, and maintaining health and safety standards, particularly relating to fire hazards. Topics we have previously covered.
At Westgate, we have worked extensively with various hospitals across the country, providing them with the hoarding necessary for them to carry out works within minimal disruption to employees and patients.
The hygienic components and simple click-together installation of our Hoardfast range make it ideally suited to sensitive hospital environments and is excellent in helping to meet privacy and dignity regulations, with fire and sound rated panel options available.
To find out more about how Hoardfast can be of use during hospital renovations and works, contact us at Westgate.