New Accident and Emergency departments are to be built at both Scunthorpe General Hospital and Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby*.
The new departments, which are set to open in 2022, have been made possible thanks to a multi-million pound investment from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
At Scunthorpe a totally new department will be built on land which is currently a car park on the Cliff Gardens side of the hospital. In Grimsby the current emergency department will be refurbished as well as extended at the front.
Each department will also link to purpose-built acute assessment units (AAUs) which will help improve the care and flow of patients through the hospitals and ensure people are seen by the right professional in the right place at the right time.
The DHSC has today announced an £8million investment to transform the emergency departments. This is in addition to the Trust submitting a strategic outline case (SOC) to NHS England/Improvement requesting £24.8 million of capital funding in November 2019 for the two new AAUs. This is approved in principle subject to a business case being submitted.
Alongside this investment in emergency care, the Trust is also investing in improvements to its diagnostic scanning capacity – both CT and MRI. At Grimsby hospital, work is underway to open a new innovative CT building which will be ready for patients in January 2021. Construction is also progressing on the new purpose-built MRI suite, which will include two new MRI scanners, scheduled to open a few months later in April 2021. At Scunthorpe hospital, planning is in its final stages to extend the existing Blue Sky Imaging Suite, which will also include a new MRI scanner.
The Trust’s critical infrastructure is also getting a boost with fire safety and waterworks being upgraded.
Peter Reading, chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This investment in our emergency care services will completely transform the environment for our patients and staff. In the past six months our staff have gone above and beyond to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. They have done an amazing job.
“The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt across our hospitals and these new buildings will include more isolation rooms and more waiting areas so we can ensure our patients are treated safely and quickly. Alongside the investment and building work we have done, and are now doing, to house new scanners, this cash is a game changer for our emergency care services. We have a lot of work to do to get these new facilities designed and built, but I know our teams are up for that and will pull out all the stops to get this work done as soon as we can.
“I’d like to thank our local MPs and councils for their ongoing support in securing this investment and as we look to secure further investment in our hospitals. In two years’ time our patients will be able to be treated in state-of-the art emergency facilities and the staff in our emergency departments can enjoy an environment purpose-built for the care they want to provide. We can’t wait to get started on the building work.”
The purpose-built AAUs will transform the way people flow through the hospital.
Dr Anwer Qureshi, clinical lead for the AAU project and consultant acute care physician, explained: “The new AAUs will allow us to provide same day emergency care for more patients. Instead of going from A&E to an inpatient ward they will go to AAU where clinicians will assess, carry out the necessary investigations and where possible discharge the patient on the same day. Or they will be admitted to a short stay area where they will be monitored. This will be a multidisciplinary approach with medicine, surgery and gynaecology all coming together in one area. ”
Mr Ajay Chawla, clinical lead and emergency department consultant, said: “This investment will give us better departments with more space which will improve the safety, dignity and privacy for our urgent and emergency care patients. It will also provide a much better work environment for staff.”
*Subject to planning permission and consultation