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Worcestershire Royal Hospital A&E expansion plan agreed

Plans have been agreed to expand the emergency department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital by 12 cubicles.

The work, which will be carried out in the next three weeks, will mean the department has 30 cubicles, compared to the current 18.

The aim is to improve the quality of care patients receive in the department, by reducing the number of patients treated in the corridor.

Stewart Messer, Chief Operating Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is an immediate short-term action that we are taking to improve quality of care and maintain patient safety.

“This will complement the hard work being carried out across the health economy to improve the flow of patients through our hospitals. However, we know that despite this work there are still a number of patients who are unable to be discharged from our care into a more appropriate setting. It has become very clear that we can no longer wait for the required response to reduce these delayed transfers of care.

“We are therefore increasing the number of cubicles in A&E at the earliest opportunity to ensure that patients receive a quality experience whilst they are with us.”

The new cubicles will be installed in what is currently operating as the Clinical Decisions Unit, attached to A&E. Associated works to accommodate the space lost in CDU will also take place. No beds will be lost as part of the moves.

The additional cubicles will mean that the corridor will only have to be used to nurse patients at times of extreme pressure.

Mr Messer added: “As well as creating the extra spaces we are going to change some of the ways we work. For example, more emergency patients will be reviewed by specialist senior doctors, and we’ll be introducing earlier ward rounds across the hospital to identify patients who can be discharged later that day.”

The changes are designed to create additional capacity in the short term. Over the summer the Trust hopes to progress work on a new urgent care centre (UCC) on the ground floor of King’s Court (opposite the A&E department). The UCC will reduce the number of patients attending A&E, by seeing those who require urgent attention but whose condition is not critical or life threatening.

Longer term, the Trust is looking at a permanent expansion of the A&E department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.