New £21m Northwick Park casualty unit nears completion
- Credit: Archant
Health chiefs have hailed a new £21million accident and emergency department, saying it will deliver a high-quality service for patients.
North West London Hospitals (NWLH) NHS Trust was awarded an eight-figure grant from the Department of Health in 2012 to build an emergency department and urgent care centre at Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow.
The centre is expected to be completed by November.
On a tour of the new complex, directors of NWLH NHS Trust told the Times that the unit is a culmination of ideas expressed by doctors and nurses from the existing A&E department and views from patient surveys.
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Malcolm Ormond, project manger for the build, said: “A huge part of the design process is listening to what people want and delivering a high-quality service that they deserve.”
The new casualty unit will include 40 individual bays, as opposed to the curtain partitions currently used, to allow patients greater privacy and will be located closer to intensive care units and operating theatres.
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Each room has been standardised to make it easier for medical staff to work in.
Emergency department matron Nicola Wheatley said: “The new design gives patients greater privacy and dignity and allows patients to be open and honest with medical staff, without the fear of being overheard by their fellow patients.”
A new ambulance drop-off system featuring a two-way ramp and seven vehicle bays has been tested by the London Ambulance Service to ensure maximum efficiency.
The department is set to see an influx of patients when the A&E department at Central Middlesex Hospital closes on Wednesday as part of the controversial Shaping a Healthier Future plan.
The new casualty unit will have more nurses working once it is open, with 30 per shift compared to the current 23, and the number of healthcare assistants will be bolstered.
The old unit will provide extra beds over the expected busy winter period in the short-term.
The long-term use has not yet been decided and is under consideration as part of the trust-wide estates strategy.