Enabling work is well underway at Walsall Manor Hospital for its major Emergency Department and Acute Medical Unit development project which is due to be completed in 2022.
Interserve Construction has been appointed to build the £36m development which will incorporate a new Emergency Department with “front door” access to a new Urgent Treatment Centre and Paediatric Assessment Unit within it. The first floor will then provide a new Acute Medical Unit along with a Medical Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit, within the refurbished existing Emergency Department footprint.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is bracing itself for a yearly increase in ED attendances of more than 10,000 patients once the Midland Metropolitan Hospital is open in 2022 and the new development is a much-needed improvement on the trust’s current, significantly outdated department.
Over the last couple of weeks, areas around the Emergency Department have been accommodating building plant and work has been carried out to widen the blue light route for ambulances. Temporary car parking arrangements have been put in place for staff and there have also been changes made to patients’ access during this 20 week phase of work.
Ned Hobbs, Chief Operating Officer and lead Executive Director for the development said: “Now that the plant has moved on site and the enabling works are underway it becomes clear to see what a huge healthcare improvement project this is for our patients, and for our staff.
“This first phase means that we have had to make some changes to staff parking and patient access. But we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption whilst keeping the site safe and are trying to get this particular inconvenience over with at the start of the project all in one go rather than having to keep introducing different restrictions at different times.
“We thank the public and our staff for their patience and know that the end result will be so worthwhile. ”
Richard Myatt, Senior Project Manager at Interserve Construction added; “We’re on track to start the construction work early next year once these vital enabling works have finished. Having worked closely with the trust and stakeholders over many months, real progress is being achieved, which is undoubtedly going to have a very positive impact on service users in the near future.”
Patients are not able to drive up to the area around the ED entrance and will have to use the 10 minute drop-off point at the hospital’s main entrance.
The Sister Dora rear entrance drop-off is to strictly controlled by security and access is limited. This area will also be used as a drop-off for ED. The car park entrance is being made two way for drop-off, patients and West Midlands Ambulance Service colleagues.
Patients wishing to access Imaging and MRI will need to park on the main hospital visitor car park and follow directional signs.
Access to Ward 29 and the Modular Block will be via the Sister Dora entrance or the main entrance for patients.