Medway Maritime Hospital has been given the final go-ahead for the next and all-important phase of its £18million programme to redevelop the Emergency Department for the people of Kent and Medway.
NHS Improvement recently gave approval for the final phase of the redevelopment programme, which will greatly benefit the patients who visit the Emergency Department each year.
The redevelopment comes at a crucial time as Medway Maritime Hospital continues to face challenges in terms of capacity and operational issues:
- The Emergency Department was built for 45,000 patients, but is currently seeing more than 110,000 patients every year.
- In July, the department saw more than 400 patients in one day alone – one of the highest on record.
- The department is regularly seeing over 110 ambulances per day. Between 11.00am and 8.00pm, it is seeing over ten ambulances per hour.
Following the completion of the new children’s Emergency Department and minors area in 2014 and 2015 respectively, this spring and summer has seen the beginning of works to refurbish the Majors area of the department – the area where people with major injuries and life-threatening conditions are seen.
Earlier this week, staff assembled for a special photo opportunity in the area, where the new Majors area of the Emergency Department will be situated. The MP for Rochester and Strood, Kelly Tolhurst, was also there to lend her support.
A specially-engraved spade was presented to Medway Maritime Hospital from Integrated Health Projects (IHP) - the main construction partner for the redevelopment programme.
Once the redevelopment has been completed, the department will consist of 24 bays in majors, seven bays in resuscitation, and 10 bays in the Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU).
Clare Hughes, Senior Matron in the Emergency Department, said: “We’re delighted the next and most crucial stage of works has now started in earnest. As the only Emergency Department in the area, it is extremely important that we have sufficient capacity to help us deal with the sheer volume of patients that we see year-on-year.
“While we will continue to experience challenges in terms of meeting demand, the redevelopment will prove vital in helping improve patient flow throughout the department – and the rest of the hospital for that matter.
“It is also important that we can offer our patients the best of care in a modern and compassionate environment. It’s really exciting to think that people in Kent and Medway will have a brand new department this time next year.”
Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, said: “I was delighted to help mark this hugely significant milestone with staff at Medway Maritime Hospital. The staff at Medway do a fantastic job day in, day out and it is vital they can treat and care for their patients in an environment that is modern and fit for purpose. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this project develops over the coming year.”
The works are scheduled to be completed by late 2017.