“It’s like winning the lottery!”
Staff in Walsall Manor Hospital’s Emergency Department were delighted to learn today that £36m of funding for a new department has been announced by the Government.
The investment is part of a £963 million package of improvements revealed by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock that also includes a multi-million pound eye care facility at Moorfields in London, and a major expansion in mental health services in Newcastle, Liverpool and Gateshead.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Divisional Director – Emergency Services, Najam Rashid, said: “This is the best news we’ve had in the 20 years I’ve been with the trust and is a real morale boost for all of us who work in ED.
“The physical environment is just not fit for purpose and everyone who visits the department – the CQC, local MPs, West Midlands Quality Review Service and our patients and their families – says the same. When it was built it was to cater for around 40,000 patients a year but we see around 80,000.
“We need specialist areas for resus, paediatrics and mental health and today’s announcement means that significant improvements will be made giving our patients a better experience. I am also pleased for my ED colleagues because they have worked so hard in a challenging environment for so long and this will make a world of difference.”
Miss Ruchi Joshi, Clinical Director – Emergency Services, added: “The current design doesn’t support patient flow and ideally, the central desk should be located so that the Nurse in Charge can see the whole department.
“Our cubicles don’t have sinks in them so from an infection prevention point of view this is far from ideal. Today’s announcement is really good news and will also help us to retain the excellent staff we’ve got as well as attract new colleagues.”
ED Matron Lesley Smith said: “It’s like winning the lottery!
“Staff are on such a high.”
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust will now complete a procurement process and appoint a contractor by spring 2019 which, with NHSI and Government approval, should pave the way for work to start in late summer 2019. The construction is likely to take around 18 months.