East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has been awarded more than £3m in Government funding to enhance urgent and emergency care in the run up to winter.
The trust, which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals and a range of community health services, was awarded the money as part of a £300m package announced by the Department of Health and Social Care yesterday (11 August).
In Ipswich, £200,000 will be used to upgrade the children’s Emergency Department (ED) to increase capacity and improve waiting areas. An additional £1.4m will be spent creating an Acute Medical Same Day Emergency Care (AMSDEC) unit, where patients with problems such as chest infections or palpitations can be assessed and treated quickly and efficiently, and without the need for a hospital stay.
A similar unit opened in Colchester last October and saw around 500 patients every month during the winter, who stayed on the unit for an average of four to six hours.
In Colchester, a canopy will be put up outside the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) which will expand the waiting area so that patients can maintain social distancing. In addition, £1.4m will be spent creating offices for clinicians to use to free up space in both the adult and children’s EDs, in turn increasing capacity while boosting infection control.
Nick Hulme, Chief Executive at ESNEFT, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money, which will help us continue to provide safe and accessible services while we manage COVID-19 and during the traditionally busy winter period.
“The money will be spent expanding our waiting areas to help us maintain social distancing during the peak of winter activity as well as increasing the capacity of our EDs. This is great news as it means that people coming into hospital for emergency or urgent treatment can feel confident that we are taking the extra steps necessary to keep them, their families and our staff safe.”
People should only come to ED for life-threatening emergencies, such as breathing difficulties or chest pains. Those with less serious conditions, such as suspected fractures and minor burns, should visit an urgent treatment centre.
Anyone who is unsure of where best to go to meet their needs should contact NHS 111.Back to top