Hospital’s appeal hits target for emergency department

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Staff at a Yorkshire hospital are celebrating hitting their £100,000 fundraising target for their Emergency Department Appeal.

And to help celebrate, world champion triathlete Jonny Brownlee will visit Airedale Hospital, Steeton, on Tuesday, when he will officially open the new department.

Meg Crossley, consultant in emergency medicine at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and project lead, said: “Our Emergency Department Appeal was launched just over a year ago and we have had tremendous support from our local community. We are delighted that we have achieved our target of £100,000 within such a short space of time thanks to the generosity of local people, businesses and our own staff who have given donations and spent time organising a whole host of activities to help boost our funds. We are very grateful for the help of our sponsors who backed the appeal from the start – but also to all the others who came on board throughout the year to make sure that we have an emergency department that really is fit for the 21st century.”

Mr Brownlee, who was born in Bramhope, Leeds, will see how some of the money has been spent during his visit. The 2012 Triathlon World Champion and Olympic Triathlon Bronze medallist was educated at Bradford Grammar School before attending Leeds University.

The Emergency Department Appeal has paid for equipment to improve care for patients, including cardiac monitors, three distraction walls for the children’s assessment and treatment areas, more resources to help patients with dementia such as a dementia friendly ‘butterfly’ room, an interactive light system for the children’s waiting area and reclining chairs for a new seated observation and assessment area. The seats are used to help assess patients who may find being on a bed too uncomfortable.

Dr Alexandra Danecki, the trust’s consultant in emergency medicine, said: “Distraction walls are a great tool to help us assess children that come into the department. They can be used by parents, doctors or nursing staff to distract and entertain children during their assessment and treatment. The images encourage children to concentrate on looking for specific items ‘hidden’ in the pictures. There is good evidence that this type of distraction helps children to relax and enables them to tolerate procedures with less anxiety.”

An ‘interactive floor’ in the children’s waiting area of Airedale Hospital’s emergency department is designed to reduce stress with its sound system and visual effects that create a feeling of actually being involved with games or realistic scenes.

The new £6m emergency department opened its doors in December 2014, providing improved facilities including separate adult and children’s waiting areas, a quiet room for friends and families to use and better privacy and dignity for vulnerable older patients and their families and carers.

Emergency department team leader, Mel Glover, said: “We know as a nursing team that if the environment is as calm and as free as it can be from chaos and noise, then our patients with dementia will be much calmer. The addition of the light installation in the dementia friendly butterfly room helps staff to create an environment that is much more supportive to the needs of patients with dementia.”